Man sentenced in case involving Jonesboro gun dealer

A New York man was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after being convicted in June in connection with illegally buying handguns from a Jonesboro firearms dealer, said officials.

U. S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Gerry Page, 29, of Queens was convicted of conspiring to lie to the Jonesboro federally-licensed firearms dealer. He was sentenced to three years, one month in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Yates said Page, a convicted felon, bought 16 handguns from the dealer in what is known as a "straw purchase." Between August and October 2009, Page arranged for and paid a co-conspirator to buy the guns, said Yates. He then traveled from New York to Georgia to pick them up.

Scott Sweetow, special agent in charge in the Atlanta Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said such transactions are not victimless crimes.

“No one can accurately tally the total number of firearms straw-purchased in the United States, because these violations often go undetected by law enforcement until the weapons turn up at a crime scene, sometimes months or years after the purchase," said Streetow. "As a society we have to recognize that straw-purchasing is as reprehensible as the crimes committed with those guns."

Assistant United States attorneys Phyllis Clerk and Tracia King prosecuted the case.

— Kathy Jefcoats