PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities in Montgomery County announced the arrest of a Philadelphia man who they say was trafficking guns.
A week after turning 21, detectives say Daniel Lucas of West Philadelphia went on a handgun purchasing spree, traveling hundreds of miles to Central Pennsylvania.
In his first transaction, arrest papers claim Lucas bought four firearms from a single dealer in Mount Joy, Lancaster County.
Montgomery County prosecutors were alarmed the purchase of the exact same make and model weapon triggered zero red flags on the part of the dealer.
“Buying multiple handguns right after your 21st birthday is a potential sign of a straw purchase. Buying multiple guns of the exact same make and model, especially four, is a red flag sign of a straw purchase,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steel said.
In a week’s time, detectives say Lucas bought 16 guns from a variety of area dealers.
The 21-year-old is accused of making straw purchases and operating a gun trafficking organization.
Steel recalled the September 2012 murder of Plymouth Township Officer Brad Fox, who prosecutors say was shot and killed by a bullet fired from a straw-purchase firearm.
“Now there’s a mandatory in Brad Fox’s name that carries a mandatory of five years for individuals that do this. These are serious ramifications for these crimes,” Steel said.
Steel acknowledged he would normally display the cache of weapons connected to the case but says of the 36 firearms Lucas allegedly purchased, only a single one had been recovered. Court papers claim it was in the possession of two people, neither old enough to make a gun purchase, one of them even being a juvenile.
“If anybody has been involved in a straw purchase, they better get their gun back because we’re coming for them,” Steel said.
Lucas was arraigned Tuesday. His bail was set at $1 million cash. Prosecutors argued Lucas is a danger to the community.
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