September 26, 2020

Talladega man headed to federal prison for lying to ATF, buying firearms for others

A federal judge Friday sentenced a Talladega man to 41 months in prison for making a straw purchase of two firearms, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Dequrious O’Neal Garrett, 24, on two counts of making false or fictitious statements to purchase firearms.

Garrett pleaded guilty in July to lying on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Explosives background-check forms at the time he purchased two guns.

Garrett indicated on the forms that he was buying the guns for himself when, in reality, he was buying them for someone else, according to court documents.

“The defendant used his status as a pistol-permit holder to illegally purchase firearms for someone who should never have had them,” said Town. “Straw purchasers endanger our communities and undermine the perception and rights of lawful gun owners.”

“ATF is committed to reducing violent crime which includes focusing on those who intentionally lie in order to obtain firearms,” Watson said.

ATF investigated the case, along with the Talladega County Drug Task Force, which Assistant United States Attorneys Melissa K. Atwood and Catherine C. Long prosecuted.

This case are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

The program was reinvigorated 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.