MA: U.S. Attorney Announces Trio Of Gun Trafficking Cases


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Harry Tuttle
September 28, 2004, 06:45 PM
U.S. Attorney Announces Trio Of Gun Trafficking Cases
9/27/2004


Press Release
U.S. Attorney District of Massachusetts
United States Attorney's Office
John Joseph Moakley, U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 9200
Boston, MA 02210
www.usdoj.gov/usao

Contact:
Michael J. Sullivan
Phone: 617-748-3139

Boston, MA - Charges were announced today in three federal gun trafficking cases. The cases illustrate three common ways in which guns make their way illegally onto city streets and into the hands of those who could never buy them legally.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; William J. Hoover, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Kathleen O'Toole, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department; and Leo J. Sullivan, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General, announced the charges today. The cases are examples of three primary ways in which guns become available illegally on the streets of Boston and in other areas of the Commonwealth:

Secondary Market in Other States:
Although Massachusetts gun laws are strict, the laws in neighboring and nearby New England states are not as stringent. Residents can buy guns in many of these states from persons who legally own guns and want to sell them - often advertising in local circulars or newspapers. Individuals who purchase guns through this so-called "secondary market" instead of from licensed firearms dealers, are not required to provide any identification to the seller or undergo any sort of "waiting period" for a criminal background check. Massachusetts law requires individuals purchasing guns in the Commonwealth, regardless of the seller, to have proof of Massachusetts residency and a valid Firearms Identification ("FID") card which is a permit issued by local police to individuals over 18 years of age and who have cleared a criminal history check. The FID card must be renewed every 4 years.

Relatives and Friends in Southern States:
Many southern states do not require permits to purchase or carry firearms as does Massachusetts. Law enforcement investigations have revealed that illegal guns recovered in Massachusetts were often obtained by individuals who traveled south to visit friends or family who bought the guns legally on behalf of the Massachusetts visitor which he then brought back to the Commonwealth for his own use or resale on the streets.

Theft of Guns Bought Legally in Massachusetts:
A third way in which guns are obtained illegally involves a person stealing the weapons from a friend, relative or acquaintance who has guns legally in their home.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office, along with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners, is committed to aggressively pursuing not only those who use guns to commit crimes, but those who put the guns in the hands of criminals," stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan. "Illegal gun traffickers may not be pulling the triggers but they also share responsibility for the acts of gun violence that occur on Massachusetts streets and, whenever possible, we will do all in our power to hold them accountable."

"Today's charges are a direct result of ATF's efforts to reduce the number of crime guns in the Commonwealth and to answer the question, 'Where do illegal guns come from?,'" stated ATF Special Agent in Charge William Hoover. "Together with our law enforcement partners we will continue to identify and pursue those who are responsible for illegally placing guns in our neighborhoods."

"The Boston Police Department will continue to work with our State and federal partners to target illegal gun traffickers and remove them from our neighborhoods," said Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole. "Today's announcement shows that we will use every tool at our disposal to rid our streets of those who would profit from gun violence in our city."

The first gun trafficking case involves Michael Fowler who is accused of utilizing the secondary gun market in Maine and New Hampshire to illegally purchase twenty-four guns, including 10 Glock and 3 Beretta semi-automatic pistols. Fowler is also charged with making four firearm silencers. An affidavit filed in support of a complaint alleges that Fowler, age 34, of 62 Nahant Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, using the name "Michael Smith", purchased 18 of the guns in Maine and 6 in New Hampshire from legal gun owners who often advertised in local circulars. It is alleged that Fowler transported the weapons back to Massachusetts where he obliterated the serial numbers and then sold them for approximately a $200 profit on each gun. To date, nine of the guns have been recovered by law enforcement. Several of those weapons were recovered less than a month from the time that Fowler purchased them on the secondary market. It is alleged Fowler, a previously convicted felon, possessed the weapons in violation of federal law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms or ammunition. Fowler is also charged with possessing a social security card that he is alleged to have altered to reflect the name, "Michael Smith".

Fowler is specifically charged in the complaint with one count of dealing in firearms without a license, one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, one count of possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers, one count of transporting firearms into one's state of residence, one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, one count of making an unregistered firearm, and one count of possession of false identification documents.

If convicted Fowler faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Fowler is currently in federal custody in Maine on a pending federal gun charge.

In a second gun case, Jamal Prather, age 26, of 713 Shawmut Avenue, Roxbury, recently pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with engaging in firearms dealing without a license and the unlawful transport of a firearm.

At a recent plea hearing, a prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the evidence would have proven that in August of 2001, Prather traveled to Georgia where two cousins legally purchased a total of nine guns on Prather's behalf. Prather accompanied his cousins to the gun stores and provided the cash for the guns. Prather then returned to Massachusetts with the guns where he sold them illegally to others. Two of the guns purchased for Prather in Georgia were recovered by Boston Police from individuals who stated they had purchased them from Prather.

Prather is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro on October 28, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. Prather faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

In a third gun case, Edward Langevin, age 43, believed to be of Lawrence, was arrested late Thursday, September 23, 2004, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms. According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint it is alleged that Langevin stole five guns from his Aunt's home in North Andover that had belonged to his deceased uncle. It is alleged that Langevin stole the guns while staying with his Aunt and then sold them illegally for profit. Three of the recovered guns it is alleged were sold by Langevin to licensed gun dealers in North Andover and Lowell. A fourth gun was recovered by Lawrence Police on July 14, 2004 at a crime scene and a fifth gun was recovered, loaded, on the side of the road in Richmond, Massachusetts. It is alleged that Langevin was previously convicted on a state felony drug charge and as such is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.

If convicted, Langevin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Langevin appeared in federal court on Friday, September 24, 2004, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith L. Dein. Langevin remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, 2004 at 12:00 p.m.

The cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Police Department and the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, the Essex County Sheriff's Department and the Lawrence Police Department. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marianne Hinkle, Chief of Sullivan's Community Prosecution and Crime Reduction Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Donald Cabell and William Connolly in Sullivan's Major Crimes Unit.

Date of Release: September 27, 2004



This article is online at http://www.jointogether.org/z/0,2522,574734,00.html

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The Last Confederate
September 29, 2004, 10:43 PM
What a socialist state.

Wildalaska
September 29, 2004, 10:53 PM
Hmmm..enlighten me how a Federal case against unlawful gun trafficing equates to socialism....

Wildwaitingforthisone..oletmeguesswhatpartofshallnotbeinfringeddontyouunderstandsillymeAlaska

carebear
September 29, 2004, 11:28 PM
So we got 2 "felons in possession," a "straw man transaction" and an outright theft.

Tack on some altering serials and it looks like the good guys won this one.

RavenVT100
September 29, 2004, 11:49 PM
It isn't like some guy who innocuously bought a gun from a friend and then took it into Mass is being prosecuted here. These guys were not your average bears. 24 illegal guns at once? Firearm defacement? Straw buying?

These guys were up to no good.

Bill St. Clair
September 30, 2004, 10:01 AM
The only "no good" I see here is the theft case. That was a crime. Purchasing metal tubes in state or out of state and selling or giving them to other people ain't nobody's business. Any "law" to the contrary is garbage, and the goons who enforce these "laws" are the only criminals here.

Henry Bowman
September 30, 2004, 11:46 AM
I realize that I'm a "freedom extremist," but I agree with Bill St. Clair and am bothered by the label "illegal guns."

Thanks for the bait, WilditmustbenicetohaveanFFLandliveinastatethatdoesnotrequireaCCWlicensewhereyoucanmakefunoftherestofusAlaska.

Chipperman
September 30, 2004, 01:01 PM
These guys were breaking multiple federal laws.

The fact that it happened in Mass is irrelevant.

Their intent was obvious. This was not an innocent thing. They were illegally buying and selling guns with the intent of providing them to criminals.

They need to do some hard time. :mad:

The article actually does a pretty good job of explicitly stating that these are "illegal guns", not just talking about all guns being bad.

Bill St. Clair
September 30, 2004, 01:33 PM
Yes. They were breaking multiple federal "laws". Every one of those "laws" is an unconstitutional infringement on the right to keep and bear arms (Wild Alaska's likely post to the contrary notwithstanding), hence is null and void. Unfortunately, Amerika has fallen so low that you can't expect a judge or jury to support you in attempting to fight them through legal channels.

Soap box? Useless. Ballot box? Useless. Jury Box? Uesless. Methinks it's way way past time for the cartridge box.

But I'm also a "freedom extremist". Market anarchist to be exact.

carebear
September 30, 2004, 01:58 PM
The codecil to making a principled stand against unConstitutional laws is the willingness to suffer the consequences of breaking them in order to make your voice heard and gain legal standing to challenge them in court.

That's how you tell the INTENT of those arrested, are they freedom loving strict interpretationalists chomping at the bit for a showdown with an increasingly tryannical government

-OR-

are they just lowlife scumbags who are contributing nothing to society but a batch of weapons for criminals to use in the hopes of making a quick buck.

Bill, you make a public violation of Federal gun laws as part of a campaign to overturn activist rulings and bad legislation, I'll contribute thousands to your defense.

However, these schmucks knew it was illegal, did it anyway and had no noble intent. I hope they enjoy prison.

Wildalaska
September 30, 2004, 02:40 PM
Amerika has fallen so low

Amerika? Amerika?

Is this the Highroad.org or MoveOn.org:)

Soap box? Useless. Ballot box? Useless. Jury Box? Uesless. Methinks it's way way past time for the cartridge box.

How boring. All talk and no action, again. Your in the People Republic of New York, go ahead, raise the miltia, Ill be watching the headlines..you can do it...the ELF does....go ahead, show us you have the same amount of guts they do

Alternatively, maybe you should leave the childish revolutionary rhetoric at home....

WildsuchsillinessAlaska

Bill St. Clair
September 30, 2004, 03:08 PM
carebear:
Bill, you make a public violation of Federal gun laws as part of a campaign to overturn activist rulings and bad legislation, I'll contribute thousands to your defense.
And there's the rub. In order to have standing to challenge the constitutionality of a piece of legislative excrement, I have to put my life and liberty on the line. No wonder the pile keeps getting higher and more odiferous by the day.

An action is right or wrong independent of who does it, or why. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Ex-con or not. Patriot or not. ALL of the people. All the time. Everywhere.

And to Wildalasaka. Yes. I am basically full of hot air, for the moment. But they get closer to my lines in the sand every day, and when they cross one, you'll read in the paper about a couple of dead goons and a dead me. Hopefully I'll start something, but I doubt it. Too many sunshine patriots. But at least I'll go to mygrave with a clear conscience.

Wildalaska
September 30, 2004, 03:14 PM
I am basically full of hot air, for the moment. But they get closer to my lines in the sand every day, and when they cross one, you'll read in the paper about a couple of dead goons and a dead me. Hopefully I'll start something, but I doubt it. Too many sunshine patriots. But at least I'll go to mygrave with a clear conscience.

With the utmost respect, with public threats like that, you dont deserve to own firearms. Those "goons" are your neighbors for gods sake.

WildmodstakeactionpleaseAlaska

JohnBT
September 30, 2004, 03:18 PM
"Unfortunately, Amerika has fallen so low..."

You know, spelling and logic can be learned.

And please try not to take anybody I know with you when you go out in that blaze of glory you so desire.

John

Bill St. Clair
September 30, 2004, 04:54 PM
I'm not a terrorist. I won't attack anyone who isn't a direct threat to me or my family. But when it's time to act, I won't wait for them to do it on their schedule. The tree of liberty is begging for refreshment.

Of course, as Liz Michael has written, it's more likely that some regular Joe with no thought of this liberty philosophy, but who is just pushed too far one day, will actually start the shooting. He'll act when I'm still thinking about where best to apply my liberty teeth. And a whole bunch of others will ask themselves, "Hmm... Is it really time?" And they'll answer themselves, "Damn right it is".

Many people think the U.S. government will collapse under its own weight without the need for us to do any shooting. I'm not that optimistic. It WILL collapse, but a lot of folks will get hurt by its death throes.

The ONLY reason for the Second Amendment is to make violent revolution credible. To strike the fear of God into the heart of every public servant. To say to every one of them, "Stray from your oath and die." Yet because we're peace-loving folks who don't want to have to do what's necessary when it's necessary (and I'm as cowardly and peace-loving as the next guy), they break their oaths every day, as a matter of course. Sickening.

And I'm not talking to you guys who loudly protest on this thread. I know I won't change your minds. I'm talking to the lurkers, the remnant, those who will quietly act when the time is ripe.

Henry Bowman
September 30, 2004, 04:58 PM
Those "goons" are your neighbors for gods sake.
And we hope those goons realize that I am their neighbor.
are they just lowlife scumbags who are contributing nothing to society but a batch of weapons for criminals to use in the hopes of making a quick buck
Granted, they are. Therefor, there must be other laws they violated, other crimes committed, or others' rights violated under which or for which they can be charged. But intent is so hard to prove. Answer: Pass laws where you don't have to prove intent, just simple possession.

2nd Amendment
September 30, 2004, 05:14 PM
With the utmost respect, with public threats like that, you dont deserve to own firearms. Those "goons" are your neighbors for gods sake.

WildmodstakeactionpleaseAlaska

Oh my. More absurd knee-jerkism.

What threats would those be, Wild? That at some point he'll take a stand against federal goons? Did he name the goons? Did he say when? That he would initiate it? Are you saying he doesn't have the right under any circumstances? But you just said before to call out the militia...so do you have a stand or are you just here to stir the pot? But I'll agree, Mods do please take action, like send this semi-popular troll off to another board, FFL or no. :rolleyes:

Wildalaska
September 30, 2004, 05:23 PM
But I'll agree, Mods do please take action, like send this semi-popular troll off to another board, FFL or no.

Troll? Your callin me a troll?:cuss:

Never mind think twice post once.... I'm off this thread, gonna find something more normal.

WildproudlyonthesideofthegoonsandagainsttheextemistsAlaska

2nd Amendment
September 30, 2004, 05:41 PM
You are an extremist as well, Wild. You just fall on the other side of the scale. Meanwhile, you did not as usual answer a single question and thus yes, I find you to be extremely troll-like. *shrug*

sendec
September 30, 2004, 07:29 PM
What is this, Extremist Defends Felons Day? Y'all are'nt really particular about the fights you pick, are ya, but I suppose any fight where you can take of couple JBTs with you will do.

With friends like this........What's next, donate a gun to a dope dealer, dont they need protection too?

spacemanspiff
September 30, 2004, 07:58 PM
just because someone believes a law to be unconstitutional doesnt justify disobeying the law.

and if an indivdual does decide to break ranks with us law abiding citizens, they should do so covertly. anything else just draws undue attention to themselves.

carebear
September 30, 2004, 08:14 PM
Actually Spiff,

If you have the courage of your convictions and thus the sack to back those convictions up AND you believe SO VERY STRONGLY that a law is unConstitutional and are willing to publicly claim you are ready to kill and die to fight it, then I'd say it it does justify disobeying it. In the sense that the action of disobedience is justified by the depth and sincerity of your beliefs.

If, however, you are only willing to TALK about fighting unConstitutionality wherever it may raise its head and not actually back it up with such an action then the rest of your opinions can certainly justifiably be viewed as worth the bandwidth they take up.

Deavis
September 30, 2004, 08:18 PM
just because someone believes a law to be unconstitutional doesnt justify disobeying the law.

Really? Not to rain on your parade, but it is your duty to disobey unconstitutional laws. That is the only way to get the laws changed. Go read some of what MLK had to say about how to change unjust laws and why it is important to accept the consequences that follow.

spacemanspiff
September 30, 2004, 09:59 PM
carebear, being the homeschoold idjit that i am, you need to simplify your statements a bit. :D

But they get closer to my lines in the sand every day, and when they cross one, you'll read in the paper about a couple of dead goons and a dead me. Hopefully I'll start something, but I doubt it. Too many sunshine patriots. But at least I'll go to mygrave with a clear conscience.
maybe i am one of the 'sunshine patriots', but all i saw in that above quote is someone who has read and fantasized a bit too much over "Unintended Consequences".

i'm not saying i havent drawn lines in the sand. i'm not saying i am unwilling to lay my life down for my beliefs.
what i am saying is that the extremists wishing to start a 'revolution' over the enforcement of laws on those who are (a) criminals, (b) engaging in criminal behavior, and (c) actively selling weapons to other criminals, makes no sense.

can anyone tell me how criminals who use fraudulent means to illegally obtain weapons they can not legally possess because they are convicted felons, and thieves who sell guns they stole, and people buying guns illegally outside their home state, can anyone tell me how those criminals are necessary to the security of a free state?

tyme
September 30, 2004, 10:04 PM
BSC, the "liberty teeth" reference is problematic, because nobody has been able to verify that quote by George Washington; the term could mean any number of things besides firearms for anyone not aware of the reference. Using it also gives a certain validity to the GW quote, even though the quote is suspected to be fake.

How boring. All talk and no action, again. Your in the People Republic of New York, go ahead, raise the miltia, Ill be watching the headlines..you can do it...the ELF does....go ahead, show us you have the same amount of guts they do
The ELF doesn't have guts either. They cite certain people and industries as committing crimes against humanity, yet they are so gutless that they won't stand up for their beliefs and target those responsible. Instead, they resort to passive-agressive measures such as destruction of property, knowing (or they should know) full well that they won't have enough impact on insurance rates to cause those they see as "responsible" to alter their behavior.

As far as putting your life and money where your mouth is, few have matched Osama bin Laden. He may be doing it for bad reasons, and there's no doubt that virtually none of the people he's killed deserved to die. Still, he is a counterpoint to the radical political activists who are all talk.

CentralTexas
October 1, 2004, 12:18 AM
Let's rewrite the first sentence or two-

Boston, MA - Charges were announced today in three federal book trafficking cases. The cases illustrate three common ways in which books make their way illegally onto city streets and into the hands of those who could never buy them legally.


Clear now? Suprised you actually are siding with Rosie O'Donnel?
What part of "Not be Infringed" do you not understand?????

CT

carebear
October 1, 2004, 12:36 AM
What part of "Thou shalt not steal" did the guy who took his grandpa's guns not understand?

And suppose the books were defaced by having their covers torn off? (ie serial numbers removed) a common tactic used to sell books which are stolen from the manufacturer or distributor, thus stealing the intellectual property rights of the author and his agents?

We need to compare apples and apples if we're going to throw analogies around.

rock jock
October 1, 2004, 01:12 AM
I'm glad they got some BG's off the streets, BUT, I have two problems with these cases: (1) they imply legal FTF transfers are somehow wrong, (2) they blame criminal actions on lawful and Constitutional practices (albeit abused by criminals). Blame the criminals and possibly MA's own restrictive gun laws which leave law-abiding citizens unarmed.

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