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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of Georgia

For Immediate Release

August 29, 2011

Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney

Contact: Patrick Crosby

New York Man Sentenced to Prison in Connection with Straw Purchases of Approximately 16 Firearms in Georgia

ATF Priority: Stopping Weapons Trafficking From the Metro Atlanta Area

ATLANTA, GA – GERRY PAGE, 29, of Queens, New York, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., to federal prison on charges of conspiring to make false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer in Jonesboro, Georgia. Purchases of guns in this manner, where the actual purchaser and owner conceals his involvement from the seller of the firearm, are commonly known as straw purchases.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, Unfortunately, Georgia holds the distinction of being a top source state for gun trafficking. This case highlights ATF’s continued efforts to aggressively target and arrest those who come to our state for the purpose of illegally acquiring firearms for transport to other states, such as New York.

No one can accurately tally the total number of firearms straw purchased in the U.S. because these violations often go undetected by law enforcement until the weapons turn up at a crime scene, sometimes months or years after the purchase. As a society we have to recognize that straw purchasing is as reprehensible as the crimes committed with those guns. Straw purchasing isn't a victimless crime, and it is a felony, said Scott Sweetow, ATF Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Division. This case is one example of the many federal firearms trafficking cases where ATF has ultimately stopped hundreds of illegal firearms from entering cities across the United States and foreign countries.

PAGE was sentenced to 3 years, 1 month in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. PAGE was convicted of these charges on June 8, 2011 after a jury trial.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and evidence at trial: Between August and October 2009, PAGE arranged for and paid a co-conspirator to purchase from a federally licensed firearms dealer approximately 16 handguns from a federally licensed dealer, which were destined for the state of New York. After each purchase, PAGE traveled from his home in New York to Georgia to retrieve the firearms. As a convicted felon and a non-resident of Georgia, PAGE was prohibited from purchasing the handguns from the firearms dealer in Georgia.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorneys Phyllis Clerk and Tracia King prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePAGE for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is