Guilty pleas in ‘guns to gangs’ conspiracy

Four of the five people indicted in U.S. District Court earlier this year in an alleged gun straw purchasing conspiracy have pleaded guilty.  Last week, Keniko Bland, 20, pleaded guilty to illegally receiving a firearm. And earlier this month, Diontre Hill, 21, and Raheem Watkins, 21, both pleaded guilty to charges of being felons in possession of firearms.  Prosecutors say the men are gang members with criminal records which prohibit them from legally possessing guns.

Two women, 32-year-old Angela Carter and 29-year-old Jacquelyn Burnes, allegedly acted as “straw buyers” when they bought the guns for the three men. According to the indictments, Carter and Burnes lied when they filled out forms at gun stores because they claimed they were buying the guns for themselves.

Burnes pleaded guilty to one count of “false statement during purchase of a firearm.” Carter is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing later this week.   The maximum federal penalty for providing a gun to a felon is 10 years in prison.  Sentencing dates have not yet been set.

  • AndyBriebart

    Some more folks that we need to follow over the years. Just how long will they serve out their sentences?

    • KTN

      Yes, you should personally follow these folks to make sure they are not up to more nefarious actions – or, you could let the system work, and they will serve as long as the guidelines allow.

      • AndyBriebart

        More catch and release. Its a common practice in Minnesota, and not just for fishing.

        • Joe

          Not for sex offenders, we have catch-and-don’t-properly-release!

        • KTN

          What exactly are you saying; a life sentence for every crime. Of course they will be released, unless the Republicans take over again, then that war on the poor gets revved up again – keep em in prison.

          • AndyBriebart

            Not asking for life sentences. Just that they fully pay their time. We let way too many out too early.

            We don’t have a “Gun” problem. We have a repeat offender and mental illness problem. The largest part of our crime is repeat offenders.

  • Joe

    I thought this story was going to be about Eric Holder!