PHILADELPHIA — A city woman who was convicted in federal court back in November of illegally purchasing firearms for her boyfriend — who was barred from possessing guns — has been sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge to one year in prison.
U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez, sitting in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, handed down the one-year and one-day prison sentence to Brihany Baker, 25, who late last year was found guilty of straw purchasing three firearms from a gun dealer in Horsham Township, Montgomery County.
Baker had been charged by indictment in November 2020 with criminal conspiracy to knowingly make false statements to a federal firearms licensee and making a false statement to a federal firearms licensee following a June 2020 investigation into her activities.
She was observed by authorities making gun purchases for her boyfriend, Donte Maxwell, who was not allowed by law to possess firearms.
Federal officials say they put much effort into catching so-called ‘straw purchasers,’ who are individuals who are legally allowed to purchase and possess guns but end up buying them for those who are prohibited by law from firearms possession.
“Our Office, together with our law enforcement partners, are ‘All Hands On Deck’ to interrupt and prevent violent crime in Philadelphia,” U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in a statement after Baker’s sentencing. “By charging crimes like straw purchasing of firearms, we can cut off the supply of illegal weapons at the source and hopefully prevent at least one violent act. Now, this defendant will spend serious time in federal prison for her crime.”
Matthew Varisco, special agent in charge of the ATF’s field office in Philadelphia, said that straw purchased guns are often used in violent crimes, “so it is important to combat the gun violence at its source, which is straw purchasing.
“With this sentence, the entire community is a bit safer knowing Baker will no longer be able to purchase firearms for individuals who are not allowed to possess them,” Varisco said in a statement. “This is a great outcome thanks to our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Court papers had stated that the straw purchasing took place at the Clayton’s Range gun shop on Easton Road in Horsham Township.
In addition to the one year and one day in federal prison, Baker will also be subject to two years of supervised release after she gets out of prison.