FOX 2 – The FBI said an organized crime ring was making “straw purchases” using stolen credit card information to purchase guns. Now 10 people face federal charges.
The FBI Straw Buy nickname comes from, because crime happens so often. Each suspect faces 10 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.
The owner of Action Impact Firearms is also familiar with this activity.
“Someone who buys a gun for another person, who cannot legally buy one,” said William Cusik. “When I hear about stolen credit cards, I think there are guns that are going to be bought.”
On Tuesday, 10 people from the Detroit metro were charged with buying straw.
According to the FBI, three leaders find stolen credit card information online – and use that information to buy guns. They would then send seven accomplices to the store to retrieve the weapons using fake IDs.
“And the key to its success is that whoever it buys it from doesn’t find out the credit card is stolen for several days,” Cusik said.
According to the FBI, from November 2020 to March of this year, this group of 10 people did this 40 times.
The suspects named in the case are: Chauncey Williams, Mike Chahoua, Antonio Jackson, Bishop Allen, Garcia Moses, Donte Turner, Reginald Small, Eshon Rose, James Jackson and Emmanuel Stevens.
“If you got a gun illegally, I think there’s a 100% chance you’ll do something illegal with it,” Cusik said.
So what are we doing to stop this activity? A lot of things fall to the gun dealers themselves.
“Now we are reviewing this information,” he said. “So we go online and try to confirm the buyer’s information and even find a photo of them so that whoever in between us can look at the photo and see if it’s him.”
Working hand in hand with the ATF, investigations lead to arrests, but all of this takes time – and demands patience for law-abiding citizens.
“So if you are looking to buy a gun, understand that you are going to come under scrutiny and I think that’s what you need to do,” Cusik said. “I definitely want retailers to do the right thing and they are doing it.”
Another factor working in favor of criminals, the owner of Action Impact Firearms says the fake IDs in use today are very difficult to spot.
He said in response that those who work in gun stores need additional training to be able to spot a fake.