Maryland man and West Virginia woman admit to firearms trafficking | USAO-NDWV

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Two people have admitted to participating in a firearms trafficking conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced. 

Brayan Mengou, of Hagerstown, Maryland, pled guilty to one count of “Aiding and Abetting Illegal Transportation or Receipt in State of Residency of Firearms Purchased or Acquired Outside of State of Residency.” Mengou, age 21, worked with others to transport several firearms from Berkeley County to Maryland in October 2019.

Amber Nicole Downing, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, pled guilty to one count of “False Statement During Purchase of Firearms.” Downing, age 35, admitted to purchasing firearms, stating the firearms were for her personal use, when she wasn’t the true purchaser of the firearms. 

Mengou faces up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Downing faces up 10 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

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