Attorney General Henry Halts Philadelphia-Based Straw Purchasing Operation with Arrests of 4 Men

August 15, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

The defendants are accused of illegally purchasing and trafficking at least 36 firearms

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the arrests of four Philadelphia men for their roles in illegally purchasing and trafficking at least 36 firearms — many of them in recent months.

The Office of Attorney General investigation uncovered three men who were making “straw purchases” for 23-year-old Fausto Emmanuel Martinez-Mosquea. Gregg Dreghorn, 29, Carlos Rosario-Figuereo, 22, and Vaishaun Covington, 26, allegedly made the firearm purchases, with Covington also serving an intermediary role to Martinez-Mosquea.

All four men are charged with numerous violations of the Uniform Firearms Act, conspiracy, and related charges.

“Every straw-purchased firearm is a threat to the safety of the people and communities in our Commonwealth,” Attorney General Henry said. “These defendants were stockpiling numerous firearms in a relatively short time. Many of these weapons would likely have been sold to persons prohibited from having firearms, and possibly used in violent crimes. My office’s Gun Violence Task Force works tirelessly to crack down on straw purchases and eliminate the threat these guns and traffickers pose to society.”

The four charged defendants were arrested in recent days. The investigation is ongoing.

All four men are incarcerated — Martinez-Mosquea on $2 million bail; Dreghorn and Covington on $1.5 million each; and Rosario-Figuereo on $750,000.

An investigation by the Office of Attorney General tracked at least 36 firearms illegally purchased by Covington (17),  Dreghorn (12), and Rosario-Figuereo (7) — with most of them bought this year. Dreghorn purchased all 12 firearms since June of this year.

The Federal Firearms Licensees, where the most recent guns were purchased by this group, cooperated in this investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Whitney Golden. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

In photo, clockwise from top left: Vaishaun Covington, Gregg Dreghorn, Carlos Rosario-Figuereo, Fausto Martinez-Mosquea.

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