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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

100 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Post Office Box 8970
Savannah, GA 31412

(912) 652-4422

Fax: (912) 652-4805

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2009

Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney

(706) 724-0517

Straw-Purchaser Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

AUGUSTA, GA — Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that Tonya Denise Williams, convicted on March 9, 2009, of Making a False Statement in the Acquisition of Firearms, was sentenced today by United States District Judge J. Randal Hall, to 24 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and fined $2,000.

Booth stated that the evidence presented at the defendant’s guilty plea and sentencing hearings showed that, on at least five different occasions between January 2007 and February 2008, Williams purchased a total of eight firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers in Augusta in with the intent of providing those weapons to her co-defendant Terek K. Parker, a New Jersey resident. In making those purchases, Williams falsely stated that she was the actual purchaser of the firearms, when in fact she was buying them for Parker, a felon, who was transporting them to New Jersey, thus making Williams a “straw-purchaser.” The evidence also showed that several of the subject firearms were recovered in New Jersey in connection with criminal activity there. Parker, who pled guilty to similar charges in District Court in New Jersey, has not yet been sentenced.

Booth noted that this case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and federally prosecuted as part of the district’s Project Ceasefire initiative, a program devoted to reducing gun violence by prosecuting individuals found in possession of firearms who cannot legally possess them, such as felons and drug dealers, and those purchasing firearms illegally.

The Government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy C. Greenwood.