DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Firearms Trafficker Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Prison

RICHMOND, Va. – An Henrico man was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to make a false statement to acquire firearms, aiding and abetting another in making a false statement to acquire firearms, and using the mail to traffic marijuana.

“Preventing the illegal purchase and sale of firearms is a top priority,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to use federal firearms laws to prosecute straw purchasers and hold them accountable for their role in trafficking illegally purchased firearms. Every straw purchased firearm is a gun that can wind up in the hands of a prohibited person. I want to commend the ATF for their commitment to investigating these important cases.”

According to court documents, Toddai Deveaux, 21, enlisted an individual, J.M., to purchase approximately 13 firearms throughout spring and summer 2017 on Deveaux’s behalf. In doing so, J.M. falsely represented on forms required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and used by all federally licensed firearms dealers, that he was purchasing the firearms for himself, rather than on behalf of Deveaux. After learning of these purchases and the false statements that J.M. made during each of these purchases, ATF agents confronted and arrested Deveaux. Law enforcement also learned that J.M. and Deveaux traveled to New York and Connecticut to sell several of the purchased firearms, with Deveaux keeping most, if not all, of the proceeds from those sales.

“The straw purchasing and illegal trafficking of firearms is a dangerous activity and often puts guns in the hands of criminals,” said Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “ATF remains dedicated to removing those that illegally possess firearms from the streets and communities of law abiding citizens.”

Additionally, in September 2017, Deveaux asked a student at Old Dominion University if Deveaux could have a package delivered to the student’s on-campus mailing address. Subsequently, in October 2017, Deveaux again asked if he could have a package delivered to the student’s on-campus mailing address. However, on this occasion campus police intercepted the package under suspicion the package contained marijuana. The package contained 861.09 grams of marijuana which Deveaux intended to sell and distribute to others.

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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Anthony prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-39.

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Field Division: Washington Field Division