GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – United States Attorney Mark A. Totten announced today that a federal grand jury charged two men with fraudulently acquiring 62 pistols and rifles from federally licensed firearms dealers in Michigan and Ohio by lying about who was purchasing and paying for the weapons they effectively stole from the dealers to resell to others for profit.
According to the indictment, Jonathan-Michael Brown, age 23, and Jalen Kenyatta-Malik Jackson, age 24, both of Flint, Michigan, illegally purchased 62 firearms (and attempted to purchase 19 additional firearms) from federally licensed firearms dealers using multiple fraudulent methods. Brown had previously been convicted of a felony offense and could not lawfully possess any firearms. It is alleged that Brown acquired firearms by posing as another person and using the driver’s license of that person and credit card account numbers of other victims to purchase the weapons for resale. The Indictment further alleges that Brown recruited Jackson to make false statements to gun dealers when he acquired multiple firearms using credit card numbers assigned to other victims to purchase those weapons to resell to others. As a result, the cost of the guns was passed on to others and Brown and Jackson transferred the firearms to others for profit.
Brown was charged with two counts of making false statements to firearms dealers, two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms, two counts of aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and two counts of wire fraud. Jackson was charged with two counts of making false statements to firearms dealers, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and two counts of wire fraud. If convicted, Brown and Jackson face a maximum of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charges and a maximum of 10 years in prison for making false statements to firearms dealers. Brown also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of the firearms and a mandatory consecutive 2 years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Both defendants also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and other monetary penalties. Upon conviction, a federal district judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until the government proves them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating this case.