Serial Straw Gun Purchaser Jailed up to 20 Years for Trafficking Nearly 20 Firearms

May 4, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

Frederick Brown, Jr., supplied firearms that were later used in other crimes

HARRISBURG– Attorney General Michelle Henry announced today that collaborative enforcement efforts between the Office of Attorney General and Bucks County investigators have resulted in a serial straw purchaser being jailed for at least 10 years.

Frederick Cornelius Brown, Jr. was convicted at trial in March of 34 straw purchasing-related offenses, and this week, was sentenced in Bucks County Court to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

A joint investigation between the OAG’s Gun Violence Task Force and Bucks County authorities revealed that Brown had been buying firearms in multiple states, falsifying records during the purchases, then trafficked the guns — some of which were later involved in other crimes.

“Every gun that is illegally purchased and trafficked is a potential threat to public safety, as far too often, straw purchases fuel much of the gun violence that plagues Pennsylvania communities,” Attorney General Henry said. “My office’s Gun Violence Task Force is committed to removing those guns from the streets. Through collaboration with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, we made Pennsylvania a safer place with this conviction and significant prison sentence.”

“Mr. Brown broke the firearms laws here in Bucks County. He found out at trial that we are committed to make good on our promise to crack down on lawless purchases of firearms like his, and others,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “As I have said before, we have made crime gun investigations and prosecutions our priority this term. More to come.”

Brown, 62, was convicted of 34 counts of illegal firearms transfer and knowingly falsifying documents regarding handgun purchases. The charges stem from the purchase of 17 firearms. None of those guns were ever reported lost or stolen and none were lawfully transferred to another person.

At least three of the guns were recovered from other people during criminal investigations.

Many of the firearms purchases were Taurus G2C, 9mm pistols – a weapon frequently subject to illegal firearm trafficking due to its cost and availability.

Brown’s firearm purchases were all “straw purchases,” meaning a person with a clean background purchased firearms specifically on behalf of another person to conceal the true ownership of the firearm. The true owner of the firearm is often prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm including convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, juveniles and individuals with mental illness.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force worked with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office to secure this conviction. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the Camden County Police Department, and the Pennsauken Police Department also assisted in the investigation. The case was tried by Bucks County Deputy District Attorney David Keightly.

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