RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond man pleaded guilty to federal firearm charges for conspiring to straw purchase firearms from licensed firearms dealers throughout Virginia.
Straw buying is when a person makes a purchase on behalf of someone who otherwise would be unable to make the purchase. In these situations, the buyer has no intention of using or controlling the purchased item. In many cases, straw buying is an illegal activity.
According to court documents from the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Tre’Shawn N. Brooks, 22, purchased firearms in 2021 from licensed firearms dealers and falsely certified on federal forms that he was the actual buyer of each firearm.
In reality, Brooks purchased the firearms on behalf of at least four other people, who told Brooks which firearms he was to purchase. Brooks in turn sold these firearms to co-conspirators.
According to the release, on at least three occasions, Brooks purchased firearms for minors whom he knew could not legally purchase firearms.
On another occasion, Brooks purchased a firearm which was recovered by the Richmond Police Department while executing a search warrant as part of a homicide investigation.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of his plea agreement, Brooks consented to the forfeiture of nine firearms that law enforcement recovered during the investigation. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 9, facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison.