Defendants behind straw purchases of firearms sentenced to prison time

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Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A convicted felon who conspired with straw purchasers to obtain firearms was sentenced today to 27 months in federal prison, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Robert Joseph, also known as Ruben Oakes, obtained the firearms and delivered them to Harold Gaines in Maryland.

Joseph, 51, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally possess firearms and illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

Gaines also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to illegally possess firearms and was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

The news release says that “according to court documents, Gaines paid Joseph to supply him with particular firearms and Joseph recruited and directed, straw purchasers to obtain firearms from gun stores in the Western District of Virginia. Joseph then delivered the weapons to Gaines in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. "

Gaines would then sell those guns to others.

Jazzmine Irvin, Janika Barksdale and Ashley Gunter, Joseph’s straw purchasers, were each convicted of conspiracy to make false statements on a firearms form. According to the release, Irvin and Barksdale were sentenced to 45 days in prison and a period of home confinement thereafter, and Gunter received a sentence of 45 days home confinement.

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