Eight charged in Rhode Island for 'lie and try' gun schemes

State and federal prosecutors in Rhode Island charged eight people last month for lying on gun background check forms.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recovered at least 44 firearms from the “lie and try” gun sales conducted across the state in 2016 and 2017, according to a March 28 statement.

“When individuals illegally purchase firearms for persons who are prohibited under federal law to possess a firearm, also known as a straw purchase, there is a likelihood that firearm could be used in a crime of violence.” said Mickey Leadingham, special agent in charge for the ATF Boston Field Division. ” ATF is committed to vigorously investigating violations of federal firearm laws in order to reduce gun violence and protect our communities.”

Those charged include Molyka Preap, 31; Ademola Kayode, Jr., 25; Darien Young, 23; Lucilo Mena, 56; Tarriek Gill, 24; Brian Luna, 22; Daniel Carides, 22; and Alex Cuevas-Polanco, 20.

U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch said prosecuting those involved in the illegal pipeline of firearms flowing into Rhode Island “is a top priority of this office and our law enforcement partners.”

“Through cooperative investigation and prosecution of illegal firearm purchases, we have successfully taken dozens of illegal firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals, which has undoubtedly saved lives,” said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

The “lie and try” indictments come after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised the Department of Justice would amp up enforcement of existing gun laws as a result of several high-profile mass shootings across the country.

Sessions said, through Project Safe Neighborhoods, DOJ prosecutions for those charged with violating federal firearm laws reached a decade high in 2017. Violent crime prosecutions are likewise at the highest rate in more than 25 years and claims the department “is just getting started.”

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