One suspect was additionally charged with drug trafficking and illegal gun possession
The Justice Department has charged two men in connection with the trafficking of dozens of firearms from South Carolina to Philadelphia, federal authorities said.
On Friday, United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced charges against Terrance Darby, 41, and Ontavious Plumer, 32, for allegedly transporting almost 60 firearms, making unlicensed deals, conspiracy to conduct illegal transactions and making false statements.
“With today’s charges, we have shut off yet another valve to stem the flow of guns into Philadelphia,” U.S. Attorney Williams said in a Pennsylvania Department of Justice release. “Our Office is working with urgency and determination to get guns off the streets of our city.”
A customer shops for a pistol at a sporting goods store. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Darby, a Philadelphia resident, was additionally charged with drug trafficking and illegal gun possession. Specifically, the DOJ said he was charged with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl and unlawful possession of two firearms in his home in November 2021.
“Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced strategies to fight violent crime, including cracking down on firearms trafficking and the ‘iron pipeline,’ and our Office announced the indictment of fourteen people engaged in that black-market business,” Williams added.
Blood is seen at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022, where bullet holes on a storefront window from a prior shooting can also be seen. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Between November 2020 and February 2021, the two men conspired with several other individuals to transport the guns across state lines, DOJ investigators said in a statement.
The alleged criminal activity was initiated by Darby, who would order the firearms with Plumber who would send for them from South Carolina. According to the statement, co-conspirators would retrieve these arms through straw purchases and transport them into Philadelphia.
The charges are the third set announced by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania office, amid a push by the state to eliminate illegal gun activity.
“At a time when our communities have seen a spike in violent gun crime, it is more important now than ever that we hold those accountable for criminal actions,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division, per the DOJ. “The diligence of our local, state, and federal partners prevented more guns from circulation into the community, as the indictment alleges.”
The Justice Department charged two men in connection with the trafficking of dozens of firearms from South Carolina to Philadelphia on Friday, federal authorities said. (iStock)
Philadelphia prosecutors previously charged individuals with the unlawful trafficking of 400 firearms into the city.