For Immediate Release
Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Purchasing 31 Firearms
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man pleaded guilty today for conspiracy to straw purchase 31 firearms.
“The Eastern District of Virginia continues to put straw purchasers on notice: If you abuse federal firearms purchasing laws, you will be prosecuted for your felonious conduct,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Subjecting individuals who choose to straw purchase firearms to federal felony prosecution is just and necessary to ensure that convicted straw purchasers can never again purchase firearms for others.”
According to court documents, Emmanuel Ndjongo, 21, and his then-girlfriend, Alexus Jordon, conspired to straw purchase 31 firearms from Federal Firearm Licensees in Virginia. Jordon purchased six of the firearms at FFLs in Virginia. Ndjongo used Jordon’s name to order the remaining firearms online from an FFL located in North Carolina, and had these firearms shipped to various FFLs in Virginia. Once the firearms arrived in Virginia, Jordon picked up the firearm deliveries from the FFLs, and gave them to Ndjongo, who sought to sell the firearms to other individuals. Local law enforcement in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland, have recovered two of the firearms unlawfully purchased during this conspiracy; both of which had altered or destroyed serial numbers.
“People who criminally abuse the process of purchasing firearms put all of our citizens at risk,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “Guns obtained through straw purchasing end up in the hands of violent criminals who pose a significant threat to our communities and law enforcement officers. ATF will continue to target these offenders and the people they traffic firearms to, as well as leveraging the partnerships we have through Project Guardian to maximize our efforts.”
Ndjongo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison when sentenced on March 27. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jordon pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 2019, to conspiracy to straw purchase firearms. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas U. Murphy II and Philip Alito are prosecuting 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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-343.