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Chester man sentenced 5 to 10 years for straw purchase of two guns

Rashan Lemar DeJarnette

Media, PA – Today Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland announced that Rashan Lemar DeJarnette, 22, of the 100 block of Worrell Street in Chester, was sentenced five to 10 years in state prison for the straw purchase of two firearms under the Brad Fox Law. He also was sentenced to four years of probation.

DeJarnette was found guilty in June 2018 after a two-day jury trial before Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge John P. Capuzzi, Sr. and convicted on the illegal transfer and straw purchase of two firearms which he purchased at a gun show for a convicted felon. He was arrested in September 2017 as the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the Office of Attorney General's Gun Violence Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Deputy District Attorney George B. Dawson, Chief of the District Attorney’s Anti-Violence Task Force prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.

On June 6, 2017, CID Detective David Tyler and CID Detective Sergeant William Gordon met with Officer Martin Dietz of the Office of Attorney General's Gun Violence Task Force in reference to a straw purchase and illegal transfer of a gun that occurred in May. Following an investigation, it was determined that DeJarnette filled out paperwork and purchased two firearms for Jackson in exchange for money.

During a gun show held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, Rashan DeJarnette and Harry Jackson, along with two other unknown males, were observed handling and examining different guns. As the group browsed the guns, Jackson appeared to be in charge of selecting firearms for further examination. While at a vendor table, Harry Jackson, a convicted felon, was observed picking out two guns and showing them to DeJarnette. Later, Jackson was observed handling DeJarnette money which was payment for the guns.

On May 4, 2017, investigators interviewed DeJarnette in reference to the two guns. During the interview, DeJarnette admitted he knew purchasing the firearms for someone else is illegal and said he reported the guns as stolen to the Chester Police Department because he got scared that agents were looking for him.

“In law enforcement, we know that the vast majority of the illegal guns used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchases. Those who illegally transfer guns in Delaware County should be forewarned that if convicted, they face up to ten years in prison under the Brad Fox Law,” said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. “In the case of Rashan DeJarnette, he went to a gun show with the intent to purchase these guns for someone that he knew had a criminal history, showing a complete disregard for the law and the safety of his community. I would like to commend Det. David Tyler for leading the investigation with Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Gun Task Force and the ATF in locating the defendant and making the arrest and Deputy District Attorney George B. Dawson who brought this case to justice.”



DATE: July 31, 2018
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4252