Philadelphia Straw Buyer Came to Schuylkill County for Illegal Gun Purchases
The Montgomery County District Attorney announced Tuesday that authorities have arrested a Philadelphia man they believe is a straw buyer of numerous guns in a short period of time this summer.
DA Kevin Steele said Tuesday that Daniel Lucas, 21, of Philadelphia purchased numerous guns at shops in 8 counties, including the purchase of a single gun in Schuylkill County.
Philadelphia Man Charged as Straw Buyer of Guns
As an alleged straw buyer, authorities believe Lucas purchased guns to sell to others who can’t buy them legally. The investigation into Lucas’ activities began in September when Montgomery County’s Violent Crimes Unit was reviewing recent gun purchase paperwork.
Investigators noticed that Lucas had purchased an “alarming number of firearms” starting on July 7. Between July 7 and Sept. 28, investigators say Lucas bought 36 guns, most of them the same kind, from gun shops in 8 different counties:
- Lancaster (13)
- Bucks (9)
- Chester (5)
- Montgomery (4)
- Delaware (2)
- Berks (1)
- Schuylkill (1)
- Philadelphia (1)
Lucas tried but was not able to buy 3 additional times, once each in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties. Police say Lucas, more than once, tried to visit multiple gun shops in the same day.
“In 77 days, this defendant was buying and selling as many firearms as he could and traveling great distances from his Philadelphia residence to multiple gun dealers in multiple counties to do it—and then reselling the guns to people who cannot legally buy firearms for themselves. There are laws about who can and can’t buy guns and those laws are in place to protect us all. Purchasing guns and illegally selling them makes us all less safe,” Steele said in a release following the arrest.
Investigators say that during his buying spree, Lucas logged more than 1,724 miles and one of his longest trips was 200 miles back and forth to his Philadelphia home.
So far, just 1 of the 36 guns Lucas purchased has been recovered. He had no guns on him at the time of his arrest. In that one recovery, on Oct. 29, police in Philadelphia conducted a traffic stop and found one of two men in a vehicle in possession of it. Neither was old enough to own a gun, the DA’s office says.
Lucas was sent to Montgomery County Prison on $1 million bail and faces charges of corrupt organizations, illegal gun transfers, and more.
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