A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty in connection to an illegal straw-purchasing scheme that netted nearly 100 guns.
Geryiell Lamont Walker, 22, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aiding and abetting the making of false statements in a year-long scheme to buy guns for other people, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota said.
Walker is among three people who were charged in June 2021 in connection to the scheme in which they bought 97 guns, including 62 guns in the month of May 2021 alone, and then sold them to people who are not legally allowed to have a gun, according to their guilty pleas.
The others: 34-year-old Sarah Jean Elwood and 31-year-old Jeffrey Paul Jackson, who each pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2021.
Court documents said between May 2020 and May 2021, the trio would buy guns for people who were not legally allowed to buy one. Walker and Jackson would help arrange the gun purchases, which included a $100 premium for each gun. Elwood, who was a permitted gun owner, would go to a licensed firearms dealer in Minnesota and buy multiple guns at a time.
This is called straw purchasing, and it is often used as a way for a person who is prohibited from having a firearm, such as a convicted felon, to get a gun while avoiding the national background check system.
When buying the guns, Elwood was required to fill out a form certifying that she was buying the firearm for herself. Prosecutors said she "knowingly misrepresented" to the gun sellers that she was the actual purchaser of the firearms even though she wasn't, breaking the law.
Prosecutors noted that those who requested the guns often paid for the weapons in advance or soon after Elwood bought the guns.
In total, the trio is connected to the illegal straw purchase of 97 guns — 18 of those guns have since been recovered by authorities at crime scenes or after being found on people prohibited from possessing guns.
There are 79 guns from this scheme alone that have yet to be recovered, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.
Walker has a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 27.