For Immediate Release
Straw Purchaser Pleads Guilty to Illegally Purchasing 31 Firearms
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria woman pleaded guilty today to a conspiracy to straw purchase 31 firearms.
According to court documents, Alexus Jordon, 23, and her then-boyfriend, Emmanuel Ndjongo, conspired to straw purchase 31 firearms from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) in Virginia. Jordon purchased six of the firearms at FFLs in Virginia, while Ndjongo used Jordon’s name to order the remaining firearms 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 the firearms up from the FFL where they had been shipped, and gave the firearms to Ndjongo, who sought to sell the firearms to other individuals.
“It should abundantly clear now to all: If you straw purchase firearms in the Eastern District of Virginia, you will be subject to felony prosecution,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “It is not draconian. Rather, it is practical and just. Straw purchasers have committed felonious conduct and a felony conviction ensures that they can no longer purchase firearms for others.”
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 obliterated serial numbers at the time of recovery.
“This investigation demonstrates how individuals criminally abuse the process of purchasing firearms,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “Anyone engaged in firearms trafficking should be on notice. ATF works with our law enforcement partners throughout the nation to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them. If you lie when you buy a firearm, you will be held accountable.”
Jordon 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 6, 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 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 the plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. 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-335.