Peoria woman receives 2-year federal prison sentence for false statements in connection with straw-purchasing scheme

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - A Peoria woman was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison for making false statements during the purchase of firearms.

The Department of Justice says that Keena Fauntleroy, 29, of the 3400 block of West Oakcrest Drive, will also serve a two-year term of supervised release after leaving prison.

According to a DOJ release, the government presented evidence that Fauntleroy made false statements related to her purchase of firearms for her partner, Jarmarco O. Moore, 32, of the 1300 block of North Machin Ave., in Peoria, Illinois, who was prohibited from possessing firearms due to his status as a felon. Federal agents began investigating Fauntleroy’s gun purchase history when two of the guns she had purchased in 2019 were recovered during criminal investigations by the Peoria Police Department.

Per the government’s evidence, the investigation revealed that Fauntleroy had purchased ten guns between January 2019 and January 2021. On March 8, 2021, agents seized a 9mm handgun from Fauntleroy and approached Moore at his residence. While agents interviewed Moore at the front door of his home, police at the rear of the home saw a minor female exit the back door carrying a backpack. The minor female was stopped and questioned by police.

Agents then searched the backpack and located 20 grams of cocaine and two firearms:  a Glock Model 20 10mm handgun loaded with 14 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, and a Ruger Model 57 handgun loaded with 21 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Fauntleroy was reported to have purchased these two handguns three months earlier, on January 7 and 8, 2021. The investigation revealed that Moore had directed the juvenile to remove the backpack with the guns and drugs from the house when he learned that law enforcement agents were headed to the residence. Agents also learned that after Fauntleroy purchased firearms for Moore, he would either sell or trade them to others.

Also at the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid stated that the sentence was intended to promote respect for the law and deter criminal conduct, stating it is unacceptable “for someone to wreak havoc on our streets” through such straw purchases. In discussing the serious and dangerous nature of the offense, Judge Shadid noted the term of imprisonment was appropriate for such a serious offense, even in light of Fauntleroy’s lack of criminal history.

The statutory penalties for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm are up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.