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DA Krasner, Gun Violence Task Force Announce Charges Against Gun Trafficking Suspect

PHILADELPHIA (December 6, 2021) — District Attorney Larry Krasner on Monday announced charges against Tyrone Patterson (DOB: 5/12/1999) for the alleged straw purchases of three firearms that investigators believe were later used in the commission of crimes by a violent street group operating in South Philadelphia. Patterson is also alleged to have sold these weapons to members of the group.Patterson is charged with three counts each of Tamper with Public Record/Information (F3), Delivery of Firearm After 48 Hours Elapsed (F3), Loans On, or Lending, Giving Firearms Prohibited (F3), Give False ID to Purchase Firearm (F2), and Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2).In the course of arresting a member of the South Philadelphia street group in April, investigators from the United States Marshal’s Service, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Gun Violence Task Force (GVTF) recovered a firearm unlawfully possessed by the defendant, and traced the weapon to Patterson. An investigation was subsequently opened, and agents discovered that Patterson had made two additional straw purchases.Law enforcement arrested Patterson at his place of employment on December 1, where he provided an on-camera statement to authorities admitting to the straw purchases and sales, as well as acknowledging that he was aware of the group’s activities when he purchased and trafficked the firearms. In the course of placing him in custody, law enforcement discovered that he had also left his 3-year-old child alone at his residence, with an electric stove turned on to provide heat and a smoke alarm covered up in order to prevent any burning odor from triggering the alarm. He was later arraigned and at the request of the DAO held on $1 million bail. Endangering Welfare of Children (F1) and related charges have also been filed.“To those who think that purchasing a firearm on behalf of those who are prohibited from owning one is a quick and easy way to make money, I have a strong warning for you: You are endangering your future and your community, and you will be brought to justice,” said DA Krasner. “As my office continues to support grassroots groups on the ground doing the hard work of violence prevention every day, my office and our law enforcement partnersincluding the collaborative work of the Gun Violence Task Forcewill also continue to hold people who straw purchase instruments of violence accountable, as we intend to do with Mr. Patterson. Thanks to Assistant District Attorney and GVTF Supervisor, William Fritze, and all of our law enforcement partners, for their thorough investigation into this gun trafficking case.”“Purchasing a gun for someone who isn’t legally able to carry one is a crime that leads to shootings and murders, which is what occurred in this case,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “All three weapons straw purchased by Mr. Patterson went directly into the hands of violent criminals, including a member of the 31st Street Gang charged with murder. Thanks to our Track + Trace initiative, the electronic record of sale from the gun store was immediately available and helped us find the straw purchaser and other crime guns. People need to know — our Gun Violence Task Force is working overtime to follow up on these leads and holding straw purchasers accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”“As we continue to grapple with the mounting loss of life in our city, we must do everything we can and recommit ourselves to saving lives,” said State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (184th District). “Some of the most frequently-asked questions when I speak with my constituents are: ‘What is being done to get these guns off of the streets, and how do they get in the hands of people who kill our loved ones?’ I think that the work being done in our city and being demonstrated today is one important step in saving lives. But we know that we must do much more. Today, I join with my elected colleagues and with other leaders in pledging to families afraid of losing a child to violence, and to communities across our great city that bear the brunt of this public health and safety crisis, that we will do everything in our power to prevent more lives being lost to gun violence. This includes fighting for more commonsense gun legislation and funding things that actually strengthen prevention.”“For the last month, I’ve done too many funerals. It’s painful to see droves of young people, mothers, fathers, cryingespecially because we know that the community can do something about it,” said Bishop J. Darrell Robinson, Sr., Senior Pastor, Yesha Ministries. “We need law enforcement to do everything they can do, but I make this plea to our community: We can do better than this. Let’s seek to change the culture. And to our young people who are getting these weapons and using them, I say: Please stop, because you’re harming the community. I also want law enforcement and our elected officials to know that Yesha Ministries is here to help. God bless us all.”Patterson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 13.

CONTACT:Dustin Slaughter, 215-686-8713, [email protected]

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.