Two South King County men charged in gun purchase scheme

Apr 18, 2023, 4:12 PM


Two south King County men are being charged in an illegal firearms and purchase scheme. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Two South King County men were charged Tuesday with multiple firearms offenses.

In a news release from U.S. Attorney Nick Brown, Dion Jamar Cooper, 31, of Kent, and De’ondre Lamontia Phillips, 32, of Federal Way, were charged for their alleged involvement in purchasing 100 guns linked to crimes.

“Schemes like this put our community at significant risk,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “We will use all tools – including new criminal statutes passed by Congress – to stop such conduct,”

The investigation began in late January with the assault and attempted robbery of a woman in Rainier Valley. Police found a firearm in her vehicle that reportedly had been dropped by one of the assailants.

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A check of the firearm revealed it had been purchased by Cooper on December 10, 2022. A check of Cooper’s purchase history revealed he had purchased 107 firearms since June 2021.

During March and April of this year, agents surveilled Cooper as he made arrangements to purchase additional firearms. Agents identified Phillips as the person driving Cooper to the gun shops where he purchased the weapons.

Phillips is prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms due to convictions for the distribution of heroin in 2014, convictions for illegal firearms possession, and two counts of assault in 2009.

Cooper and Phillips are charged with straw purchasing of firearms involving ten different guns. Both men are also charged with two counts of trafficking in firearms. Phillips is charged with possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime. Phillips is also charged with unlawful possession of firearms.

Straw purchasing of firearms and trafficking in weapons are both punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Possession of controlled substances, in this case, is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison.

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The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations.

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Seattle Police Department.

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Two South King County men charged in gun purchase scheme