Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Three Members of ‘Straw-Purchasing’ Conspiracy Sentenced in Federal Court After Duo Illegally Purchased 17 Firearms on Behalf of Violent Felon
INDIANAPOLIS- Alexandria Flick, 23, of Bloomington, Indiana, has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to 3 years of federal supervised probation after pleading guilty to making false statements in connection with the purchase of sixteen firearms. Flick is the third and final defendant to be sentenced in connection with this straw-purchasing conspiracy.
In December 2022, Ariel Campbell was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to making false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm for a felon. In March 2022, Antoine Sutton was sentenced to 74 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to court documents, between October 2020 and February 2021, both Flick and Campbell purchased a total of 17 firearms on behalf of Sutton from American Arms, a federally licensed firearms dealer in Bloomington, Indiana.
Video surveillance footage from American Arms shows both Flick and Campbell entering the business with Sutton on different occasions. All three individuals are seen on camera looking at various firearms and accessories on multiple occasions. Sutton attempted to put money towards purchasing a rifle from American Arms and told the store employee that Campbell would pay the remaining balance and fill out the required ATF firearms purchase form.
Flick and Campbell would often accompany Sutton at American Arms, or they would communicate via text message about which firearms Sutton wanted purchased. Sutton then resold the straw purchased firearms via Snapchat.
When Flick and Campbell made the purchases, they falsely affirmed on federal firearms purchase documents that they were the actual buyer of the firearms, when in fact, they were purchasing them for Sutton.
A search of Campbell’s cellphone revealed text messages between her and Sutton, in which she asked what kind of ammunition she should buy and how much. While Campbell was physically in the American Arms store, Sutton sent her a screenshot of the specific gun he wanted from an online listing to which Campbell replied with a photo of the same gun in-store. Campbell also texted, “I’ll grab guns for you whenever, I really don’t care.”
On February 25, 2021, Flick drove Sutton to a location where Sutton sold a rifle, equipped with a high-capacity magazine and loaded with 26 rounds, to an individual for $700. Multiple firearms that Flick and Campbell purchased for Sutton have been recovered during criminal investigations in both Indiana and Chicago.
Sutton is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his previous felony convictions of dealing in cocaine, armed robbery, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers and Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Field Division, and Michael Diekhoff, Chief of Bloomington Police Department made the announcement.
“People who illegally buy guns for criminals share responsibility for the violence afflicting our communities,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “These illegal ‘straw purchases’ are a form of gun trafficking that fuels gun violence everywhere. Illegally armed criminals and those who put the guns in their hands must be identified and prosecuted. I commend the diligent work of the ATF and the Bloomington Police Department to dismantle this gun trafficking conspiracy and hold these criminals accountable.”
“I will echo U.S. Attorney Myers statement,” stated Daryl McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “Those who divert firearms from lawful commerce into the hands of felons bear responsibility for the crime in our community, and we will continue to work with our partners to identify them and bring them to justice.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case with valuable assistance provided by the Bloomington Police Department. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus Stinson. Judge Stinson also ordered that Flick be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for xx years following her release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kelsey L. Massa, who prosecuted this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Chicago Gun Trafficking Strike Force and has prioritized investigation and prosecution of gun trafficking crimes. On July 22, 2021, the Department of Justice launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country. These gun trafficking strike forces are designed to ensure coordination across jurisdictions and help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities, and into five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento Region and Washington, D.C.