FEDERALLY LICENSED FIREARMS DEALER, STREET GANG MEMBERS CHARGED FOR ILLEGAL GUN TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General John Ashcroft, Assistant Attorney
General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division, Acting Director Bradley
Buckles of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as
U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Christie of New Jersey and Greg Lockhart of the
Southern District of Ohio announced today that criminal charges have been
filed against several individuals, including a federally licensed firearms
dealer in Ohio and members of a violent street gang in New Jersey, for their
roles in an alleged conspiracy to illegally traffic guns across state lines.
An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Jersey alleges that
approximately 76 guns were illegally transferred to members of the Double II
Bloods street gang in East Orange, N.J., through straw buyers who were all
students at Wilberforce University, a small school a few miles from the Hole
in the Wall Gun Store in Xenia, Ohio.
James Dillard, the owner of the Hole in the Wall Gun Shop, Quadree Smith, the
leader or so-called 105 or Five Star General of the Double II Bloods, and two
other Bloods members were charged with conspiracy to deal in firearms without
a license. The indictment identifies by initials three unindicted
co-conspirators, all Wilberforce students, who acted as straw purchasers.
Others charged in the conspiracy include former Wilberforce
students-turned-gun traffickers, who allegedly brokered the deals with Dillard
in Ohio and then transferred the guns to Smith and the other Bloods members in
travels between Ohio, New Jersey and New York.
Dillard was also charged by criminal complaint in the Southern District of
Ohio with three counts of being an Ohio federal firearms licensee and
knowingly selling firearms to a resident of another state. In all, a total of
14 people were charged in the Southern District of Ohio as part of the alleged
While Dillard is not alleged to have known who the ultimate owners of the guns
would be, he knew that the buyers – the Wilberforce students – were merely
paperwork intermediaries recruited by co-conspirators to legitimize the sales
in Ohio. Dillard, although a licensed firearms dealer, is accused of aiding
and abetting others in the conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license.
Among the examples charged in the New Jersey indictment, Dillard made two
sales – one for 16 firearms, another for 15 – to two different straw buyers on
April 22, 2002. Just five days earlier, Dillard allegedly sold 25 firearms to
one of those same straw buyers.
Of the 76 weapons identified in the indictment as coming from the Ohio gun
shop, 20 have been recovered by local, state and federal law enforcement. All
of the recovered guns were involved in crimes. The guns were found to have
been used in the aid of drug trafficking, in shootings, carried by members of
different Bloods sects in New Jersey, or carried by previously convicted
The New Jersey indictment alleges that the student straw buyers were recruited
by Dillards co-conspirators to use their real identities for the purchases,
which were negotiated in advance between Dillard and a former Wilberforce
student, identified as Co-Conspirator A in the indictment. According to the
indictment, Dillard would assist Co-Conspirator A in deciding which firearms
to purchase and recommended certain guns. Dillard then allegedly provided the
firearms to Co-Conspirator A through the three straw purchasers.
Co-Conspirator A and another Wilberforce student, Co-Conspirator B, then
allegedly sold the guns to Quadree Smith, who then resold them to Double II
Co-conspirator A is identified in federal criminal charges filed in Ohio as
Jarrien Aguilar, a former Wilberforce student. Aguilar has pled guilty to
charges of conspiracy and false statements in buying a firearm. Co-conspirator
B, former Wilberforce student Seon Paton, has also pled guilty in the Southern
District of Ohio to conspiracy charges.
Two other co-conspirators have pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and false
statements, respectively, in the Southern District of Ohio. In addition,
criminal complaints out of the Southern District of Ohio charge eight straw
buyers, including the three identified in connection with the New Jersey
conspiracy, with knowingly making false statements to a federal firearms
licensee. In all, the criminal charges in Ohio allege that approximately 200
guns were purchased illegally, most of which were moved out of Ohio.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal
prison and a $250,000 fine. Quadree Smith is also charged with being a felon
in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10
Todays charges underscore our intention to prosecute all of those who are
involved in the illegal trafficking of firearms, said U.S. Attorney Greg
Lockhart of the Southern District of Ohio. People may think theyre just
making easy money by buying a gun for someone else, but they are actually
committing a federal crime and will be dealt with accordingly.
We intend to sit this Ohio gun dealer in front of a jury at the same defense
table as the leader of one of New Jerseys most violent gangs, said U.S.
Attorney Christopher J. Christie of the District of New Jersey. Our message
to gun dealers in other states is simple: Straighten up your act, follow the
law, or we will prosecute you.
In the past two months, a number of straw buyer and interstate firearms
trafficking investigations and prosecutions have highlighted the successful,
cooperative efforts to stem gun crime:
In a case out of South Carolina, ten defendants have pled guilty over the past
two months to charges relating to trafficking almost fifty firearms from South
Carolina to New York.
On Monday, December 8, the lead defendant and three co-defendants in a North
Carolina-based weapons trafficking scheme pled guilty to charges relating to
the trafficking of nearly seventy handguns, including several to the
Washington, D.C., area.
In U.S. v. Smith, the defendant was found guilty on Wednesday, December 10, of
charges related to illegal firearms trafficking from North Carolina to New
York. He will be sentenced in March.
In yet another case out of South Carolina, over the past four months, all
twelve defendants have pled guilty to charges for their roles in a straw
purchasing weapons scheme in which almost forty firearms were transported to
New York illegally.
In U.S. v. Quaites, the defendant pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to make
false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and to
charges relating to trafficking about forty firearms from Arkansas to Chicago.
Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national commitment to reduce gun crime on the
local level, links federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and
community leaders in a comprehensive strategy of deterrence, prevention, and
prosecution of gun crime. Through those cooperative efforts, federal
prosecutions of gun crimes have reached record levels.