For Immediate Release
Wisconsin Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Straw Purchasing Conspiracy
United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the guilty plea of MICHAEL PATRICK COUPE, 27, for his role in a firearms purchasing conspiracy. COUPE, who was charged on March 22, 2018, along with his co-defendant, JAMIE FLEMING, entered his guilty plea earlier today before Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“This defendant is a convicted felon who broke the law by illegally obtaining firearms through the use of a straw buyer, then resold the guns to another felon” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen. “These illegal purchasing schemes that seek to put guns in the hands of dangerous criminals will not be tolerated.”
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from September 13, 2017, through December 14, 2017, COUPE conspired with FLEMING and others to purchase five separate firearms, including a Mossberg Tactical 22 .22 caliber rifle, a SCCY model CPX-2, 9mm pistol, a Phoenix model HP22A .22 caliber pistol, a Taurus model PT111 9mm pistol, and a Taurus model PT140 .40 caliber pistol. When purchasing the firearms, FLEMING falsely attested on the required ATF Forms 4473 that she was the actual purchaser of the firearms, when in fact she was not. FLEMING purchased the firearms at the direction of COUPE, who has two prior felony convictions in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
According to documents filed in court, following the purchase of the firearms, COUPE and FLEMING transferred some or all of the firearms to others, including an individual identified as G.T., who is a convicted felon. On multiple occasions between September 14, 2017, and November 27, 2017, COUPE and FLEMING traveled from Hayward, Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they met with G.T. and transferred firearms to G.T.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen is prosecuting this case.
MICHAEL PATRICK COUPE, 27