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Franklin man sentenced for straw purchasing firearms for gang members, felons

NORFOLK, Va. – A Franklin man was sentenced Monday to nearly four years in prison for straw-purchasing several guns for Crip gang members, including felons and others planning to engage in gang-related shootouts.

Court documents say that 24-year-old Larry Donnell Parrish III was the hub of a straw-purchasing conspiracy based in Franklin involving a subset of the Crips violent street gang, the 00 Gang. Parrish, a 00Gang member with no criminal record, purchased at least seven guns from federally licensed gun stores for other gang members who could not purchase the firearms themselves because they were felons.

“ATF is committed to keeping firearms out of the hands of gang members and those intent on committing violent crimes,” said Ashan Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Washington Field Division.  “Firearms trafficking is a serious offense.  This investigation highlights ATF’s commitment to protecting the public and keeping our communities safe.  If you lie and buy firearms, ATF will work with our law enforcement partners across the region to ensure that you are held accountable for your crimes.”

Parrish also purchased guns for gang members who could legally buy the guns, but did not want to because they planned to commit violent crimes with the guns. Three of the guns Parrish had straw-purchased were later recovered by law enforcement while investigating other crimes, and one of the guns was recovered in Washington, D.C. only 10 days after Parrish had bought the gun.

“This individual illegally obtained firearms to commit further, potentially violent, criminal activity with fellow Crip gang members,” said Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Norfolk. “There’s a reason straw-purchasing is not permitted, and that’s because weapons end up in the hands of dangerous criminals. Thanks to the quick actions of our federal andlocal partners, we’ve taken a source for violent crime off the streets.”

As a known drug-user, Parrish is prohibited from possessing a gun. After he straw-purchased the guns, police caught him with yet another gun, an extended magazine, and marijuana.

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