Crime

A Gulfport man made a purchase for a friend and is going to prison for it

A Gulfport man who bought a gun for a felon has been sentenced to prison and fined $3,500 for making a straw purchase.

A straw purchase is the illegal buying of a firearm for someone prohibited from having a firearm.

Isaac Q. Coleman, 25, bought a Taurus PT-111 9mm pistol for Tony D. Crawford on Jan. 13 at Cook’s Gun Shop in D’Iberville, court papers show.

Crawford was later found with the gun by agents with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Crawford, 24, was convicted of possession of marijuana from an arrest in 2010. He’s also been indicted on a drug charge from an arrest in 2016, jail records show.

Coleman and Crawford went to the gun shop together to look at guns, and Crawford gave Coleman money to pay for the firearm, according to a news release. U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and ATF Special Agent Dana Nichols gave details of the crimes on Friday.

Officials said Coleman gave a false statement on a required form. The gun shop owner could not have completed the transaction if he had known it was a straw purchase, they said.

“He just picked the wrong friends to call friends,” Coleman’s employer at a cleaning service wrote in a letter to the court.

Coleman pleaded guilty to making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm on Sept. 20.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced him on Thursday to seven months in prison and five months of home confinement. Coleman has remained free on an unsecured $25,000 bond.

Crawford, who’s in custody, pleaded guilty April 20 to possession of a firearm by a felon. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced Jan. 22, 2018, by District Judge Sul Ozerden.

Biloxi and D’Iberville police assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris prosecuted the case.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

The Brady Act made background checks a requirement for guns purchased through licensed dealers. Here’s a brief look at how the current system works.

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