Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Peoria Man Sentenced to Nine Months in Prison for “Straw Purchase” of a Firearm
PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Dontarius S. Dixon, 29, of the 2800 block of West Larchmont Lane, was sentenced today to nine months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Dixon falsified documents by stating that he was the actual buyer of a firearm when in fact he was buying the Glock model 19x 9mm for a convicted felon. The felon, an acquaintance of Dixon’s, approached Dixon and asked him to make the purchase because Dixon had a valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Dixon was told which handgun to buy and was provided with $1,200 to purchase both the gun for his friend and one for himself. Dixon purchased the Glock 19x, as well as a Glock 43x 9mm for himself, from The Tac Shack, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), on September 3, 2020. He took possession of the guns on September 11, 2020, and delivered the Glock 19x over to the felon, a documented street gang member, the same day.
The very next day, September 12, 2020, Peoria Police recovered the Glock 19x from a vehicle outside the Dream Night Club in Peoria, Illinois. The handgun was in possession of the documented street gang member and was accompanied by an extended magazine, several additional magazines, ammunition, and a speed loader.
The government further established that on September 28, 2020, Peoria Police were called to West Farmington Road in Peoria, in response to a shooting. Police then located Dixon who reported that he was shot by a male who fled on foot. During a later interview on October 7, 2020, Dixon admitted to agents of the ATF that he had lied to police about the shooting and, in fact, had accidentally shot himself in the leg with Glock 43x that he purchased, then threw the gun in a bush off Farmington Road. The firearm was later recovered by the ATF.
Also at the hearing, U.S. District Judge James Shadid found Dixon had put others at great risk by putting guns in the hands of individuals who couldn’t lawfully possess them. Judge Shadid emphasized that straw purchasers have no control over how the guns are used once they leave their hands, and in Dixon’s case, the gun was found in a car outside a nightclub with ammunition and an extended magazine within a day of purchase.
Dixon was indicted in August 2021 and pleaded guilty in February 2022. He was released on bond with conditions since indictment.
The statutory penalties for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm are no more than 10 years imprisonment, followed by up to 3 years supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine.
The ATF and Peoria Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Dixon was brought as part of The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. The Department’s renewed commitment to Project Safe Neighborhoods establishes four fundamental principles to guide efforts to reduce violent crime: 1) build trust and legitimacy within communities; 2) invest in community-based prevention and intervention programs; 3) target enforcement and priorities to focus resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime; and, 4) measure results with the goal to reduce the level of violence in our communities and not to increase the number of arrests and prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.
ATF’s 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.