Philadelphia man charged in straw purchase of firearms
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A 23-year-old Philadelphia man has been arrested in connection with the purchase of straw and trafficking in firearms, say Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Cheltenham Township Police Commissioner John Slavin. Kareem Reed, of the Spring Garden area of town, has been charged with multiple felonies.
Police seized a gun from a person under the age of 21 during a shooting on April 16, 2022 in the Wyncote area of Cheltenham Township. D.A. Steele also says the gun may also have been used in a Philadelphia auto theft that same day.
The Glock 23 was not reported stolen or lost, leading DA Steele and investigators to conclude it must have been a straw purchase. A straw purchase obscures the identity of the firearm owner who evades a background check by purchasing through a third party.
Investigators linked the gun to a June 20, 2021 purchase by Reed.
Further investigation revealed that Reed had purchased four firearms between April 7, 2021 and November 13, 2021. Three firearms were purchased from a gun store in Chalfont, Bucks County, and one in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County.
The prosecutor also says Reed told his gun buyers to remove the serial number, another crime.
Reed was charged with the unlawful sale/transfer of a firearm, trafficking in proceeds of unlawful activity, and erasing/altering markings on a firearm, and one charge of gross misrepresentation to authorities.
The underage individual to whom Reed previously sold guns owned three of the four firearms. Another gun was found that Reed had sold to a person named “Na”. The gun was in a car in the impounded Philadelphia Parking Authority lot where “Nas” vehicle was towed.
“The purchase and sale of firearms to criminals is always a public safety threat and a egregious crime because the illegal firearms are often used in violent crimes, as this case demonstrates,” prosecutor Steele said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro praised the joint investigation.
“This case demonstrates how the illegal firearms trade is bringing violence to our communities and how critical law enforcement cooperation is to public safety,” he said.
Unable to post bail, Reed remains at Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 22, 2022.