United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

02/27/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/27/2020 21:08

Straw Purchaser Convicted for Role in Firearms Trafficking

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal jury convicted a Chester man yesterday on charges related to his straw purchase of six firearms.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Brandon Andrea Powell, 41, purchased six firearms at three federally licensed firearms dealers in the Richmond area during August and September 2015. When purchasing the firearms, Powell falsely stated that he was the actual purchaser of the firearms, when in fact, he was straw purchasing them for an individual named Trenton Pointer. Pointer provided the guns to Abdul Shashid Davis, who in turn, sold them to an undercover New York City Police Detective.

Powell was convicted of making a false statement to acquire a firearm. He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison at sentencing. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Pointer and Davis were charged, convicted, and sentenced in New York State for their role in this scheme.

Nine other federal defendants have been sentenced for making false statements in connection with this scheme:

Name, Age

Hometown

Felony Conviction

Sentence

Cherie Elanda Wyatt, 42

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

1 year of probation

Kevin Edward Wilson, 29

Powhatan

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 180 days of home detention

Denise Michelle Sinkford, 41

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 180 days of home detention

Shanta Teisha Brown, 29

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 60 days of home detention

Evelyn Jean Collins-Chandler, 54

Richmond

Conspiracy to Make False Statements to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 60 days of home detention

Ebony Danielle Clarke, 34

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

3 years of probation, 210 days of home detention

Jeremy Durand Lewis, 35

Chesterfield County

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 1/2 years in prison

Yolanda Lisa Stone, 47

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

2 years of probation, 7 months of home detention

Jeffrey Quinton Toole, 56

Richmond

False Statement to Acquire Firearm

13 months in prison

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice's signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department's past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF's Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael C. Moore is prosecuting the case.

Special assistance in this investigation and prosecution was provided by the New York City Police Department and the New York County District Attorney's Office.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 3:18-cr-37, 56, 77, 86, 110, 120, 138, 154, and 3:19-cr-13.