Three charged in ATF investigation

Published 8:16 pm Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three Suffolk men are charged in a federal case accusing them of possessing stolen firearms and possessing firearms while convicted felons.

Federal agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked with a confidential informant to build the case against Direll Lamar Jackson, Travis Travel Scott and Lamonte Rashawn Willis, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

The case started in September 2014, when a detective with the Chesapeake Police Department contacted federal agents about an individual that wanted to sell firearms to a confidential informant with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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The informant was equipped with a recording device and transmitter to record and monitor a meeting that took place in Suffolk. During the meeting, the informant set up a future meeting with Jackson to conduct the purchase, according to the affidavit.

Recent burglaries had resulted in numerous shotguns, rifles and pistols going missing, according to the affidavit.

On Sept. 22, the informant used $3,000 in government funds, while equipped with audio/video transmittal and audio recording devices, to buy weapons. The three suspects allegedly argued among each other about the price the informant would pay and eventually agreed to accept $3,000.

The guns were consistent with descriptions provided by a recent burglary victim, with two of the serial numbers matching.

Jackson allegedly offered additional firearms for sale to the informant by text message, complete with photos of the firearms. One of the photos of weapons appears to be taken behind the wheel of a car.

On Oct. 1, the informant called Jackson, and Jackson offered to sell two firearms for $1,550 and cocaine for $1,700. The informant set up a meeting for the next day.

The next day, the informant placed a recorded call to confirm the sale. Jackson allegedly said he had only a Tec-9 pistol and a quarter-ounce of cocaine. In another recorded and monitored meeting, the informant bought both, as well as an additional shotgun, for $1,250. He bought the gun at Jackson’s residence and later met him at Feather & Fin on East Washington Street to buy the cocaine.

On Oct. 16, the informant once again bought nine firearms for the price of $4,200 in a recorded and monitored transaction.

The firearms purchased were later found to be consistent with firearms stolen in a theft from a vehicle in Suffolk on July 13 and in a burglary in Isle of Wight County on Oct. 10.

On Nov. 12, Suffolk Police advised they had two residential burglaries and one attempted burglary that day in which about 20 firearms were stolen. The informant called Jackson to see if he had any firearms for sale, and Jackson allegedly offered to sell six handguns for a total of $2,800. He also said he had 13 other firearms but would give a price for them later.

Jackson allegedly later offered 22 firearms for the total of $7,700.

During one of the recorded transactions, Jackson allegedly told the informant he arranged the sales while others — presumably Scott and Willis — did the burglaries. Scott and Willis also were present during some of the transactions.

Jackson has been convicted of felony abduction and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Scott has been convicted of conspiracy to commit grand larceny. Willis was convicted of a felony offense as a juvenile and later convicted of possession of a firearm. None have had their rights restored, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Suffolk Police Department assisted with the investigation through researching the suspects and providing information on the burglaries.