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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan
Mark A. Totten, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 23, 2023

Fraudulent Firearm Purchases Lead to Federal Prison Sentences for Two Flint Men

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that Jonathan-Michael Brown, of Flint, Michigan was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison for illegally purchasing 62 firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers in Michigan and Ohio. U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering also imposed a restitution order of $28,047.88 for losses to the firearms dealers and two years of supervised release following his term of incarceration. Co-defendant Jalen Kenyatta Malik Jackson, also of Flint, was sentenced in January to 12 months and one day imprisonment, two years of supervised release, and restitution of $12,004.27. In imposing the sentence against Brown, Judge Beckering commented that Brown’s “spree of firearms purchases” through the fraud scheme “victimized many people.”

“Protecting our communities by holding individuals accountable for straw purchasing weapons and fraudulently acquiring firearms that flood our streets with illegal guns is a top priority for my office,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “We will continue working with the ATF and our law enforcement partners to target these types of schemes that put our communities at risk.”

According to court documents, Brown, age 24, and Jackson, age 25, illegally purchased 62 firearms (and attempted to purchase 19 additional firearms) from federally licensed firearms dealers using multiple fraudulent methods. Brown had previously been convicted of a felony offense and could not lawfully possess any firearms. Brown acquired firearms by posing as another person and using the driver’s license and credit card account number assigned to that person and others to purchase the weapons for resale. After Brown’s arrest by state authorities, he recruited Jackson to make false statements to gun dealers and acquire multiple firearms using credit card numbers assigned to other people to purchase those weapons to resell to others. As a result, the cost of the guns was passed on to others and Brown and Jackson transferred the firearms to others for profit.

Brown pleaded guilty to three federal crimes: making a false statement and aggravated identity theft in connection with the purchase of two firearms, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for profiting from selling firearms that he and Jackson illegally purchased from firearms dealers. Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement during the purchase of firearms.

“Illegally providing firearms to prohibited persons fuels violent criminals presenting a grave threat to our communities,” said, ATF Acting SAC Craig Kailimai. “The collaborative effort with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our federal, State of Michigan, and local partners continues to remove illegally trafficked firearms and those individuals involved from our streets.”

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Michigan State Police, Flint Police Department, Saginaw Township Police Department, and Canton Police Department also aided in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West prosecuted the case.

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