MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Convicted felons lose their rights to purchase firearms legally. That’s why they will often turn to “straw buyers” to do it for them.

“In this case, the gang members want guns, and they go to female associates they know can pass a background, they go out and buy that gun,” said Scott Sweetow, who heads the Twin Cities office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

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ATF agents allege that two Twin Cities women were knowingly making straw purchases for gang members. A special task force of 50 ATF agents, armed with search warrants, carried out at least four raids on Wednesday.

“The two women who were alleged to have been the straw purchasers were told by the defendants, who could not purchase guns, what to buy, when and what ammunition to get for the guns,” said U. S. Attorney Andy Luger.

Angela Carter worked as a food service employee at Minneapolis South High. She was indicted for giving false information on two gun purchases in January 2014.

Jacquelyn Burnes, a former Hennepin County Workhouse corrections officer, became a girlfriend of inmate Diontre Hill. It’s alleged that Barnes bought three guns for Hill.

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Ironically, Hill is also charged in the assault and car shooting that seriously injured one of Carter’s children this past weekend.

Also indicted are reputed gang members Raheem Watkins and Keniko Bland. Investigators say their weapons orders were sometimes made using coded phone conversations from jail.

The investigation into straw buys continues.

“We’re going to come at them and come at them hard,” Sweetow said.


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