DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Delaware

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Contact: Kim Reeves

Federal Alum Gets Additional 3.5 Years for Attempted Illegal AR-15 Rifle Purchase

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Breyon Richardson, age 28, of Newark, Delaware, was sentenced today to 42 months in federal prison for illegally aiding and abetting attempted illegal purchases of an AR-15 rifle. 


According to documents and arguments discussed in open court, less than a year after completing a prison sentence for unlawful firearm possession and while on supervised release, Richardson convinced another individual, his co-defendant, to purchase an AR-15 rifle on his behalf.  When they were unsuccessful in purchasing that firearm at the first firearms dealer, they drove to another location and attempted to purchase the same model AR-15 rifle from the second firearms dealer. Both federally licensed firearms dealers rightfully recognized an attempted firearms purchase on behalf of another (commonly referred to as a “straw purchase”) and denied the sales.  


Today’s sentence marks Richardson’s second federal gun-related offense within a three-year time period.  As a result, the Court sentenced Richardson to 42 months of total incarceration: 21 months for the new violation, and 21 months for violating his supervised release, to be served consecutively.  This was a marked increase from Richardson’s prior sentence of approximately 8 months. 


U.S. Attorney Weiss said, “The defendant demonstrated his disrespect for the law and for the safety of the community by twice attempting to straw purchase an AR-15 rifle as a federally convicted felon.  My office will aggressively pursue such defendants to send a clear message that felons who attempt illegally to possess firearms pose a true risk to the safety of the community and that such behavior will not be tolerated.”


“Our mission is to protect communities from anyone using firearms to commit illegal and violent acts,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Cekada. “Those who aid felons by attempting to supply them with guns and who criminally abuse the process of purchasing firearms must be held accountable for their role in threatening the safety of our communities.”


This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Graham L. Robinson and Whitney C. Cloud. 

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Baltimore Field Division