Texas Tech alumnus helping DOJ crack down on alleged gun trafficker
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Gun safety and regulations have been the center of political discourse following recent shootings across the United States.
While policies are reviewed for legal gun ownership, one Texas Tech University School of Law graduate, Chad Meacham, is helping take down the illegal gun trade.
Meacham, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and other Justice Department officials, are leading an anti-violent crime initiative, according to a DOJ news release.
“The second amendment protects the rights of law-abiding citizens – but not prohibited persons, or those who arm them,” Meacham said in the news release. “The US Attorney’s Office, ATF Dallas, and the entire Department of Justice is working our level best to keep guns away from dangerous offenders before they can put finger to trigger.”
The Department of Justice announced federal charges against alleged gun trafficker Demontre Antwon Hackworth on June 13.
Hackworth allegedly purchased more than 92 guns from federally licensed firearms dealers. At least 75 of the firearms were purchased from the same licensed dealer over a six-month period. That dealer has now relinquished their license to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Hackworth has been accused of reselling the guns without a federal firearm license. He also did not conduct the required background checks for his buyers, according to the news release.
At least 16 of the firearms recovered in Texas, Maryland and Canada have been allegedly involved in criminal activity, including homicides, aggravated assaults and drug trafficking.
One of the guns Hackworth purchased was used in three separate criminal offenses and two of the guns were used in two separate crimes. One of the firearms was recovered from an incident only one week from the time Hackworth purchased it. Most of the recovered firearms were collected within one year of Hackworth’s purchase and were tied to criminal offenses.
Hackworth was indicted on June 7 and arrested on June 10. He has been charged with one count of dealing firearms without a license and three counts of making false statements while purchasing a firearm. If convicted, Hackworth will face up to 35 years in prison.
US Attorney Rick Calvert of Meacham’s Northern District of Texas will be aiding US Attorney Suzanna Etessam in prosecuting Hackworth.
“Illegal firearms trafficking is not a victimless crime,” Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Boshek of the ATF’s Dallas Field Division stated in the news release. “There are real consequences when individuals illegally engage in the business of buying and selling firearms. ATF will continue to use all available resources to strategically target and identify illegal firearms sales, trafficking patterns, and sources of crime guns; and to interrupt the illegal flow of firearms to criminal gang members, felons, firearm traffickers, and all persons who are otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.”
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