According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) straw purchasing is the most common way criminals get guns. A straw purchaser is someone who buys guns for a person who is illegally allowed to possess a gun.
The ATF brought to a halt one such illegal gun trafficking operation in an undercover investigation that resulted with Lucas Ramos, 35, of Philadelphia receiving 108 months in prison for his role in a illegal gun trafficking operation on August 28, 2013. He was charged with six other defendants who were using his house, in the 2000 block of East Atlantic Street in Philadelphia as they are illegal trafficking center. The defendants also use the storage facility, in the 3500 block of North B Street, and a clothing store, in the 3900 block of Kensington Avenue, to conduct illegal gun sales. In all, their operation sold 43 guns illegally plus ammunition between February 2011 and August 2012.
Ramos pleaded guilty to conspiracy, gun trafficking, unlawfully making a weapon from a shotgun, two counts of unlawfully transferring a firearm, unlawfully possession of a short barreled shotgun, and 21 counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Dalvi Rodriguez, and
Jim Cruz, are awaiting sentencing.
Eddy Delacruz, and
Miguel Massa, are awaiting trial.
The ATF investigation operation also netted several other defendants, and resulted in the seizure of more than five dozen guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.