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Straw purchaser sentenced in Beckley to Philadelphia gun trafficking conspiracy


BECKLEY Another individual has been sentence to prison for firearms trafficking out of Beckley

36-year-old Maurice Johnson, of Mount Hope, was sentenced Friday, February 24 to one year in prison for his role in a conspiracy to traffic more than 140 firearms from Beckley to Philadelphia.

According to court documents and statements made in federal court, Johnson participated in a conspiracy led by Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh.” That conspiracy trafficked in firearms purchased in West Virginia from June 2020 to July 2021.

Several straw purchasers were enlisted to buy firearms. Eighteen defendants have pleaded guilty so far. Someone, mainly Jones, would decide what firearms to purchase and provide the money for purchase.

Johnson bought a HS Produkt, Model XDS MOD (Springfield Armory), 9mm pistol and a Ruger, Security-9, 9mm pistol, for Jones in Mount Hope on December 29, 2020. Johnson admitted that he falsely certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473 that he was the buyer of the firearms when he knew he was purchasing them for Jones and his trafficking conspiracy.

Johnson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to engage in dealing firearms without a license and making false statements in acquisition of firearms.

Johnson will have three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, 45 out of the 140 firearms trafficked in the conspiracy have been recovered at crime scenes primarily in Philadelphia. The guns and have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses. One of the firearms Johnson purchased was recovered at a crime scene in Philadelphia, according to a news release from US Attorney Will Thompson



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