Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 20, 2024
Philadelphia Gun Trafficker Sentenced to a Decade in Prison as City Battles Violence SurgeSource: Google Street View

Philadelphia's streets just got a little safer as Mister Tyrell Taylor, the man behind a gun trafficking ring responsible for over 60 illegal firearms, has been sentenced to a decade behind bars. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the 29-year-old was dealt 120 months in prison plus three years of supervised release after his brazen scheme came to light, a scheme that fortified the criminal underworld with dozens of weapons, at least nine of which were used in shootings.

Not only did Taylor's criminal enterprise put guns in the hands of convicted felons, but it also worsened the gun violence crisis in Philadelphia, the guns were often modified to be more lethal, with some turned into automatic weapons and others having their serial numbers erased to make them untraceable, the city's struggle with violent crime intensifying with each firearm passed from hand to shadowy hand. U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero called out this devastating reality, saying, "Philadelphia is already awash in illegal guns and Taylor flooded the streets with over 60 more," and emphasizing the seriousness of such crimes in the hope of deterring future offenders.

Eric J. DeGree, the ATF's Philadelphia Field Division head, echoed the sentiment drawing a direct line from straw purchases to the surge in shootings, these illegal buys often mark the first step in a firearm's journey to the scene of a crime. "Buying a gun for someone who isn’t allowed to have one puts your neighbors, friends, and families at risk," DeGree cautioned, reminding the public that straw purchasing isn't just a threat to public safety, but also a federal crime that can result in significant prison time.

This case falls under Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a collaborative effort aimed at curbing violent crimes by uniting law enforcement agencies with the communities they serve; the strategy implemented reflects a robust approach, prioritizing strategic enforcement while simultaneously fostering community trust and backing organizations dedicated to preventing violence before it erupts. Taylor's case was meticulously investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and later prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Alexander B. Bowerman alongside Assistant United States Attorney Justin Oshana, who saw to it that Taylor's dangerous supply chain came to a definitive end.