By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two men have been charged with illegally trafficking almost 60 guns into Philadelphia from South Carolina. The U.S. Attorney’s office announced 41-year-old Terrance Darby, of Philadelphia, and 32-year-old Ontavious Plumer, of South Carolina, were charged by superseding indictment with gun trafficking offenses.

The charges are in relation to their scheme to straw purchase and transport across state lines almost 60 firearms.

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Darby was also charged with drug trafficking and gun possession stemming from his possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, and unlawful possession of two firearms in his home in November 2021.

Between November 2020 and February 2021, the defendants conspired with at least four other individuals to illegally straw purchase almost 60 firearms from federally licensed gun shops in South Carolina and then transported the firearms via car to Philadelphia, the superseding indictment states.

Darby would place the order with Plumer, who would then direct co-conspirators to straw purchase firearms and transport them to Darby and his co-conspirator in Philadelphia.

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The superseding indictment is the third set of charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the last two months targeting the illegal trafficking of firearms from southern states into Philadelphia.

Officials say this is a fact pattern known as the “iron pipeline.”

“Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced strategies to fight violent crime, including cracking down on firearms trafficking and the ‘iron pipeline,’ and our Office announced the indictment of fourteen people engaged in that black-market business. With today’s charges, we have shut off yet another valve to stem the flow of guns into Philadelphia,” said U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. “Our Office is working with urgency and determination to get guns off the streets of our city.”

Multiple defendants were indicted in two federal cases involving the unlawful trafficking of approximately 400 firearms up the iron pipeline into the City of Philadelphia.

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An investigation is ongoing.