General Crime

* Jonathan Rice was sentenced for receiving firearms in California that had been unlawfully shipped from Georgia

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A Vallejo man who is the eighth member of an illegal gun trafficking ring that trafficked over 65 firearms from Atlanta, Georgia, to the Bay Area has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison, a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported. Jonathan Rice, 26, was sentenced on Aug. 5 for receiving firearms in California that had been unlawfully shipped from Georgia. The group he was working with bought, shipped then resold the guns from April 2009 through June 2009. Several of the trafficked guns were recovered from crime scenes in San Francisco and Oakland, according to the ATF. Rice is the last of the Bay Area defendants to be sentenced. Aurelio Rodriguez was sentenced to 37 months in prison on July 1, and on July
22, Willie Earnest was sentenced to 15 months in prison and Nkwelle Pendar was sentenced to 60 months in prison. “The sentencing of the last defendant marks the day that those involved in this investigation can no longer traffic guns and terrorize our communities,” ATF special agent Stephen Herkins said in a prepared statement. All admitted that they received firearms from Jeffrey Moore, a Georgia resident, and sent payments to Moore and then sold the firearms on the black market, according to the ATF. Moore recruited straw buyers to purchase firearms at 12 federally licensed firearms dealers and at least two gun shows in the Atlanta area. He then shipped the firearms to Earnest, Rodriguez, Pendar, Rice, and an Oakland resident named Alexander Quinn.One of the federally licensed firearms dealers became suspicious of the volume, frequency and nature of the purchases and contacted the ATF. Moore and two straw buyers, Crystal Davis and Danny Davis, were sentenced on March 12 in Georgia for their roles in purchasing and shipping the firearms. Vallejo police, San Francisco police and the California Department of Corrections assisted with the investigation. 

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