Members of a gun-trafficking ring that transported nearly 300 firearms from Georgia to Pennsylvania, federal officials announced Monday.
Eleven defendants led by 25-year-old Fredrick Norman, an Atlanta rapper also known as “Slowkey Fred,” were charged with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to make a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said in a statement.
Brothers Edwin Burgos, 29, and Kenneth Burgos, 23, who allegedly led the scheme in Philadelphia, were also charged with dealing firearms without a license.
According to investigators, ATF Special Agents in October 2020 began identifying multiple firearms recovered in the Philadelphia area that were originally purchased in Georgia with a short time frame between their purchase and recovery, known as a “time to crime” period.
During the course of six months, Norman allegedly led the conspiracy to purchase 300 firearms from dealers in and near Atlanta and transported them to Philadelphia to be sold on the black market, netting about $116,000.
The ATF alleged Norman admitted in 2020 he purchased more than 100 guns. The rapper told NBC News in an interview he doesn’t remember making the statement, but offered that he became a “gun enthusiast” after attending his first gun show in early 2020.
“I never knew how open guns was in Georgia,” Norman said. “The whole process threw me off. You walk in, and then there’s a police officer sitting at the front. And they don’t check for, you know, ID or carry licenses or if you’re a felon or nothing.”
During a raid of a Georgia apartment, authorities found 4,000 rounds of ammunition and 183 empty gun boxes that were traced back to weapons purchased by the defendants.
Guns traced by federal agents investigating the case were recovered from felons and found abandoned at crime scenes as soon as days after they were purchased.
“I’m sure we have not recovered them all,” said Eric Degree, assistant special agent in charge of the ATF office in Philadelphia. “There’s still firearms purchased by these individuals that are most likely still on the street.”
Officials said Kenneth Burgos and fellow defendant Roger Millington have so far evaded arrest, while seven of the defendants including Norman, Edwin Burgos, Devin Church, Stephen Norman, Charles O’Bannon, Roselmy Rodriguez and Brianna Walker had pleaded not guilty.
Copyright 2022 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.