Feds: Hundreds of guns illegally trafficked to Philadelphia

Set of different guns
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Federal authorities have announced charges in connection with hundreds of firearms they say were illegally trafficked to Philadelphia from two states in the South.

Officials said 14 people face gun trafficking and conspiracy charges in connection with nearly 400 firearms purchased in Georgia and South Carolina and brought to the city.

“Almost 400 firearms illegally trafficked to Philadelphia — made available on the black market to people who aren’t lawfully allowed to purchase guns — each with the potential to destroy many lives,” U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said.

Some of the firearms allegedly trafficked were used in crimes in the city, including shootings, and “dozens” remain on the streets of Philadelphia, said Matthew Varisco, special agent in charge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Eleven people are charged in connection with nearly 300 firearms purchased from dealers in the Atlanta area and transported them to Philadelphia for sales on the black market for a total of more than $100,000, authorities said.

Three people are charged in connection with more than 100 firearms purchased around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and brought to Philadelphia, authorities said. Three people are also charged in the two cases with dealing firearms without a license.

Most of the firearms trafficked were handguns, the kind of firearm most commonly used in crimes in the city, Varisco said. Some were legally purchased and others were bought by straw purchasers, people allowed to buy weapons who then convey them to people not allowed to possess them, authorities said.

 

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