For Immediate Release
Multiple Defendants Sentenced in a Scheme to “Straw Purchase” Firearms
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Yesterday, a federal judge sentenced multiple defendants in a scheme to “straw purchase” firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.
In separate and unrelated cases, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Manasco sentenced the following defendants for giving a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.
Jaqorium Marquise Island-Galvin, 25, of Bessemer, was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years supervised release. Island-Galvin pleaded guilty in June 2022. According to court documents, Between May 2020 and May 2021, Island-Galvin partnered with co-defendant Brianna Alexandria Washington to purchase at least 18 firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in the Northern District of Alabama. Washington, the straw purchaser, falsified documents by specifically stating that she was the actual buyer when in fact she was buying the firearms for Island-Galvin. Island-Galvin directed Washington to purchase the firearms because he did not want the paperwork for the purchases traced back to his name. Island-Galvin purchased the firearms for the purpose of trafficking them to the Chicago area. During this time, at least four of the 18 firearms were sold in the Chicago area. On June 16, 2021, one of the firearms trafficked by Island-Galvin was recovered by the Bolingbrook Police Department in Illinois at the residence of a known convicted felon and drug trafficker. Washington is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27th.
Christian Devon Coleman, 28, of Birmingham, was sentenced to 10 months in prison followed by three years on supervised release. Coleman pleaded guilty in September 2022. On May 1, 2020, Coleman purchased a Barrett .50 caliber rifle from a Federal Firearms Licensee in the Northern District of Alabama. Coleman, the straw purchaser, falsified documents by specifically stating that he was the actual buyer when in fact he was buying the firearm to sell to someone else. After purchasing the rifle, Coleman met the individual, in the parking lot of the FFL. The individual then provided Coleman with $10,900 for the rifle.
These cases are a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ campaign "Don’t Lie for the Other Guy" is a part of PSN aimed at reducing firearm “straw purchases”, the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, and to educate would-be straw purchasers of the penalties of knowingly participating in an illegal firearm purchase. More information about the campaign can be found at: www.dontlie.org.
The ATF investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Peoples prosecuted the cases.