Firearms Straw Purchaser Is Sentenced To Prison | USAO-WDNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Charlotte man convicted of straw purchasing firearms for two individuals was sentenced to two years in prison today, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Thomas Evans Kelly, 29, was also ordered to serve two years under court supervision after he is released from prison.

Bennie Mims, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court records and today’s sentencing hearing, in August 2019, Kelly purchased three firearms from a licensed firearms dealer in Charlotte. Over the course of the transaction, Kelly made false and fictitious statements to the firearms dealer and falsely certified on federal forms associated with the purchase of the firearms that he was the actual buyer/transferee of the firearms. Court records show that, contrary to Kelly’s statements, he purchased the firearms for two other individuals, Walter Jackson and Jalen Jackson. Kelly then filed false police reports alleging that the firearms were stolen. In total, law enforcement seized eight firearms that were originally purchased by Kelly during criminal activity committed by Walter and Jalen Jackson.

Kelly is currently released on bond and will be ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence upon designation of a federal facility.

Walter Jackson previously pleaded guilty to dealing in firearms without a license and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was sentenced to 90 months in prison. Jalen Jackson was sentenced to 72 months in prison, after pleading guilty to dealing in firearms without a license and transfer of a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act.

The ATF led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Lindahl of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte was in charge of the prosecution.

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