58 Firearms Illegally Purchased in Arizona; 18 Recovered in the Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO —LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced today that a federal grand jury in Arizona indicted Philip A. Fonsworth-McCorvey, of Glendale, and Andre Burr, of San Francisco, for conspiracy to make false statements, and making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms. The indictment is the result of an 11 month investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of Arizona and the Northern District of California, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the San Francisco Police Department.
Kevin V. Ryan, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, stated, “We fully support the prosecution of straw purchasers who are responsible for providing guns to others who may not be able to legally obtain them otherwise. I thank our colleagues at the ATF, the San Francisco Police Department, and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office for their outstanding coordination in this effort.
Paul K. Charlton, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona said, “These indictments reflect the ability of federal, state and local law enforcement to effectively coordinate across borders to identify illegal gun purchases and stop the flow of arms to criminals”
Mr. McCorvey is charged with one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and nine counts of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A). Mr. Burr, 28, is charged with one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and one count of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A).
“Individuals who move firearms from the legal to illegal market do so to arm prohibited persons like drug dealers and gang members. With the support of the U.S. Attorneys Offices in California and Phoenix, ATF and its state and local partners will continue to identify and prosecute people who illegally traffic firearms”, said Stephen K. Martin, Special Agent In Charge of ATFs San Francisco Field Division.
San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Morris Tabak stated: “In our continuing effort to make San Francisco a safer city, the San Francisco Police Department has been fully engaged in strategies and enforcement actions that rid the streets of the “tools of violence” – firearms and narcotics. This indictment sends a clear message to those that chose to engage in unlawful firearms distribution – you will be held accountable. Today, San Francisco is much safer due to the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ATF, and the San Francisco Police Department.”
According to the indictment, Mr. McCorvey was contacted by a third party at some time before June 16, 2005. This third party repeatedly gave Mr. McCorvey instructions on which firearms to purchase and the money to purchase the firearms. In one instance, Mr. Burr contacted Mr. McCorvey and gave Mr. McCorvey instructions on which firearm to purchase and the money to purchase the firearm. Mr. McCorvey knowingly and unlawfully purchased the firearms in Arizona for this third-party and Mr. Burr. According to the indictment, between June 16, 2005, and October 29, 2005, Mr. McCorvey illegally purchased 58 firearms.
The indictment alleges that Mr. McCorvey, when purchasing the firearms, filled out a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) form and falsely represented that he was the true purchaser of the firearm, when in reality, the true purchasers of the firearms were the third party and Mr. Burr. Furthermore, in an attempt to conceal the purchase of these handguns, on or about August 1, 2005, Mr. McCorvey contacted the Phoenix Police Department, falsely indicated that he was a collector of handguns, and falsely indicated that his car and eighteen guns stored therein had been stolen.
To this date, eighteen of the 58 firearms allegedly purchased by Mr. McCorvey have been recovered in the Bay Area, and two of the firearms purchased by Mr. McCorvey have been recovered in Oklahoma. Details on these purchases are noted in the table below: