BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Fayette County woman pleaded guilty to providing false information on a government form in order to acquire firearms.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 23, 2020, Terri Lawhorn, 27, of Fayetteville, bought three firearms: a Glock 44 .22-caliber pistol; a Glock 43 9mm pistol; and a Glock 42 .380-caliber pistol. Lawhorn admitted that she purchased the firearms for Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh,” who is separately charged in a pending gun trafficking conspiracy. Through an intermediary, Jones had given Lawhorn money to buy the firearms and told her which ones to buy from a gun dealer in Mount Hope, West Virginia.
Lawhorn purchased at least six firearms as part of the overall scheme. Each time Lawhorn bought firearms for Jones, she lied on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, Federal Firearms Transaction Records, certifying that she was buying the guns for herself when she knew they were for Jones.
Lawhorn is scheduled to be sentenced on September 2, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the ATF, which conducted the investigation.
United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Negar M. Kordestani is prosecuting the case.
Lawhorn is among 13 individuals indicted in connection with their roles in a conspiracy to traffic over 130 firearms from the Beckley area to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More than 30 of the firearms have been recovered in Philadelphia and have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses.
Co-defendant Arileah Lacy, also known as “Leah,” 24, of Beckley, pleaded guilty on April 22, 2022, to providing false information on an ATF form in order to acquire a firearm. The case remains pending against Jones and the other co-defendants. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-46.