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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Three Individuals Sentenced for Firearm Straw Purchasing Conspiracy

NORFOLK, Va. – Three individuals were sentenced today and last week to 58 months in prison combined for engaging in a straw purchasing conspiracy.

According to court documents, from March 2020 through July 23, 2020, David Collins, 34, of Vineland, New Jersey, Cardel Howard, 36, of Norfolk, and Felicia Tyson, 36, also of Norfolk, conspired together to straw purchase firearms in Virginia Beach, and traffic the firearms to New Jersey. During the conspiracy, Tyson acted as a straw purchaser of firearms on behalf of others, including defendants Howard and Collins.

In total, Tyson purchased seven firearms and attempted to purchase an eighth firearm for other individuals. Howard directed Tyson as to which firearms to purchase and how much to charge others for firearms. Collins traveled from New Jersey to Virginia for the purpose of acquiring a firearm in Virginia, which he could not acquire on his own because he is a convicted felon and a resident of New Jersey. The investigation into this group began after law enforcement in New Jersey recovered a firearm during a shooting investigation and determined that the firearm was previously purchased by Tyson.

Collins was sentenced today to 22 months in prison. On February 15, Howard was sentenced to 22 months’ incarceration for his role in the conspiracy. On February 8, Tyson was sentenced to 14 months' incarceration for her role in the conspiracy.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Darrell Longwood, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth W. Hanes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Montoya prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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. 2:22-cr-76.

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