HARRISBURG– Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the conviction of a Philadelphia County man who has been illegally purchasing and distributing firearms for more than a decade. Frederick Cornelius Brown, Jr., 62, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was convicted this week in Bucks County Court of 34 counts of illegal firearms transfer and knowingly falsifying documents regarding handgun purchases.
The charges stem from the purchase of 17 firearms Brown acquired and then disposed of dating back to 2011. 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.
“Far too often, straw-purchased guns end up in the hands of dangerous criminals who have committed crimes that prevent them from legally owning a firearm,” said Attorney General Henry. “Straw purchases fuel the gun violence that plagues too many of our communities. If you buy a gun that ends up in the hands of a violent criminal, my Office will do everything in our power to ensure you face time in prison. This conviction is the result of collaboration between local and state agencies that are committed to making Pennsylvania safer from gun violence. The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office was integral in this case, and I want to thank them for their efforts.”
“We’ve made these illegal gun and straw purchase cases a priority,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. “By trying and convicting this defendant before a jury, we’ve demonstrated that we mean what we say. We will take these cases all the way, to hold these straw purchasers of firearms criminally accountable for their crimes. Due to imposition of the Brad Fox Law, I expect this defendant to go to state prison for a long time. It’s one of the ways we can keep our community safe from gun violence. More to come.”
Brown’s trial began on March 6, 2023 in front of Judge Jeffrey Finley in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. Following conviction, Brown was remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.
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. This case was tried by Bucks County Deputy District Attorney David Keightly.
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