ATLANTA – Rashad Sargeant has been sentenced for his role in trafficking firearms to Barbados. Together with his co-defendant, David Johnson, Sargeant shipped at least 30 firearms to Barbados after obliterating the serial numbers from the firearms and packing them inside false compartments in boxes.
“Firearms trafficking fuels violence in communities within the United States and abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “We will continue to actively leverage partnerships with federal, state, local, and international law enforcement partners to stem the illegal flow of firearms.”
“This case and ultimate conviction highlights the fact that illegal gun trafficking not only affects our local communities but has implications far beyond our borders” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alicia Jones. “At a time when gun crime is on the rise, this case reinforces the need for ATF and our partners to be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting individuals who supply both the domestic and international illegal arms trade.”
“Disrupting the flow of illegal guns inevitably saves lives and reduces overall crime, so I’m glad we were able to stop this scheme to illegally export guns to Barbados,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Cases like this highlight the great results that can be achieved when agencies work together to protect our communities.”
“The Office of Export Enforcement is committed to disrupting the illegal export of firearms from the United States,” said Nasir Khan, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement, Miami Field Office. “We will continue to work with U.S. and international law enforcement partners to penalize violators of our export laws.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: David Johnson recruited Shunquez Stephens, and others to unlawfully purchase guns from federally licenses firearms dealers. Stephens, and the other “straw purchasers”, made false statements to the licensed dealers by swearing that that they were purchasing the guns for themselves.
Sargeant and Johnson would then take possession of the guns and use false identifications to mail the guns to Barbados through common carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Rashad Sargeant, 27, of College Park, Georgia, has been sentenced to three years, ten months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty on September 2, 2021.
David Johnson, 31, of Belleville, Illinois, was previously sentenced on March 17, 2022, and sentenced to three years, ten months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty on July 22, 2021.
Shunquez Stephens, 28, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, was previously sentenced on September 30, 2021, and sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty on June 21, 2021.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keen prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime, the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.