Fall River Man Indicted for Allegedly Conspiring to Straw Purchase Firearms
BOSTON (WBSM) — A Fall River man is one of two men indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly conspiring to make straw purchases of firearms in Maine and traffic the firearms to Massachusetts.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Breon Stroup, 26, of Fall River was indicted along with Traveyon Richardson, 25, of Bangor, Maine on one count each of conspiracy to straw purchase firearms.
A straw purchase is when someone, likely with a clean background, purchases a firearm for a second person who may not pass the background check.
Stroup was also indicted on one count of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and Richardson was also indicted on one count of trafficking of firearms.
Charging documents allege that Stroup used Snapchat in September 2022 to ask Richardson to purchase two specific firearms for him in Maine, where Richardson resides. It is alleged that Stroup sent Richardson payment through Cash App and Richardson purchased the firearms online, then picked them up from the dealer and drove them to Massachusetts in October 2022.
“It is further alleged that approximately two weeks later, in October 2022, Richardson and Stroup had a phone conversation where Stroup assured Richardson that he had deleted his Snapchat account,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “When Richardson allegedly inquired about Stroup’s iCloud account, Stroup responded that he had deleted his iCloud account also.”
Stroup faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to straw purchase a firearm, as well as three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition could result in 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
Stroup and Richardson will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
The same month he allegedly received the firearms through the straw purchase, Fall River Police arrested Stroup after a search of his home turned up a quantity of suspected marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, an unidentified white powdery substance, suboxone film, a loaded Taurus semi-automatic pistol and a Ruger revolver. He did not possess a firearms license, police said.
Stroup was charged with multiple offenses, including possessing with intent to distribute a Class D, Class B, and Class C substance, possessing a large capacity firearm during a felony, and possessing a firearm without an FID card, among others.
In October 2017, an alleged drug deal gone wrong in Fall River resulted in Stroup, then 20 years old, being arrested along with his underage girlfriend for armed robbery and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.