Peoria woman pleads guilty to making false statements in connection with straw-purchasing scheme

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Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:22 PM CDT
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PEORIA (WEEK) - A Peoria woman - Keena Fauntleroy, 28, of the 2600 block of West Humboldt Street - pleaded guilty Wednesday, May 11, to one count of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, which is commonly referred to as straw purchasing.

The Department of Justice says the statements related to her purchase of firearms for her partner, Jamarco O. Moore, 32, of the 1300 block of North Machine Avenue.

Moore is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his status as a felon. He was previously sentenced April 14 to 110 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

According to court documents, federal agents began investigating Fauntleroy’s alleged gun purchase history when two of the guns that Fauntleroy was reported to have purchased in 2019 were recovered during criminal investigations by the Peoria Police Department. 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.

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

Sentencing for Fauntleroy is scheduled for September 8.

Moore was indicted in June 2021 and released on bond to a third-party custodian. After violating his bond conditions, he was returned to custody in December 2021 and pleaded guilty that same month.

At Moore’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid found the sentence was intended to promote respect for the law, deter criminal conduct, and protect the public. Judge Shadid noted that Moore had committed a very dangerous offense involving a lot of handguns purchased over an extended period of time, some of which had been located on the streets during unrelated criminal investigations, and some that were still unaccounted for.

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