Philadelphia Woman Charged With Straw-Purchasing Nearly 20 Handguns in Bucks County

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Sharon Jones, 44, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged by Indictment with one count of dealing in firearms without a license and six counts of making false statements to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) during the purchase of firearms.

The Indictment alleges that between July and September 2020, during six separate transactions, the defendant purchased a total of 19 firearms from a FFL on York Road in Warminster, PA, and that she made false statements during each of the purchases. Specifically, she allegedly certified on an official Firearm Transaction Record that she was the actual buyer, and that she lived at an address on Hartville Street in Philadelphia. According to the Indictment, Jones purchased firearms from manufacturers including Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Sig Sauer, and two .40 caliber Glocks, all for the purpose of reselling them for profit. The defendant was taken into custody and made her initial appearance in federal magistrate court on Friday, August 27.

“The purpose of our ‘All Hands On Deck’ initiative is, first and foremost, to prevent violent crime, which includes targeting for prosecution prolific straw firearms purchasers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “This defendant’s alleged actions certainly fit that description. By charging crimes like straw purchasing of firearms, where firearms are purchased in order to turn them over to people who are prohibited from legally buying or possessing them, we can cut off the supply of illegal weapons at the source.”

“ATF remains dedicated to investigating violent crime and disrupting straw purchasing schemes as this indictment alleges,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “Together, with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to take measures to ensure the safety of our communities and stop the flow of guns to individuals who cannot legally purchase them.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 35 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Oshana.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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