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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

November 30, 2012

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact: Vickie LeDuc
(410) 209-4885

Two Conspirators Exiled to Prison in Scheme to Straw Purchase Eight Guns

Greenbelt, Maryland — U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Henry Lee Smith, age 50, of Washington, D.C., today to a year and a day and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine for conspiring to straw purchase firearms. Co–defendant Joshua A. Smith, age 22, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was sentenced on November 27, 2012 to 18 months in prison and 60 hours of community service.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard Marianos of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — Washington Field Division.

According to his plea agreement and court documents, from October 13, 2011 to March 24, 2012, Joshua Smith asked Henry Smith (no relation) to purchase firearms for Joshua Smith. Joshua gave Henry the money to buy the guns and also paid Henry between $50 and $75 for each gun that Henry purchased for Joshua. Henry made false statements to federally licensed gun dealers in Upper Marlboro, District Heights and Waldorf, Maryland, to deceive the dealers about the true purchaser of the guns. Henry bought a total of eight guns for Joshua.

Henry Smith hid the purchased guns on his father’s property and told Joshua Smith where the guns were hidden. Henry advised Joshua that Joshua should remove the serial numbers from the purchased guns so that the guns could not be traced back to Henry.

On March 28, 2012, an individual named Kevin Bolden used one of the purchased guns, an S&W .40 caliber pistol, to shoot at an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia.

On May 18, 2012, when Henry and Joshua Smith met in Capital Heights so that Joshua could obtain a Glock .45 caliber pistol that Henry had purchased for him, Joshua Smith was arrested. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ATF for its work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mara Zusman Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.