DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 23, 2019
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Man Pleads Guilty to Straw Purchasing Five Firearms

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting the straw purchase of multiple firearms.

According to court documents, between July and September 2018, Lawrence Paul Chambers, 21, of Silver Spring, aided and abetted the straw purchase of five firearms from federal firearm licensees in the Eastern District of Virginia by providing a woman he was dating money and counsel to illegally purchase firearms on his behalf. Police in Washington, D.C. recovered one of the illegally purchased firearms from a co-conspirator, 11 days after it was straw purchased.

Chambers pleaded guilty to making false statements with respect to the purchase of firearms and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 24, 2020. 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.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas U. Murphy II and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Annie Zanobini 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-285.

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Washington Field Division