DOJ files gun trafficking charges as part of ‘crackdown’

Southwest

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 05: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Garland addressed the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced charges against a man accused of illegally dealing dozens of firearms — embodying what Garland called a “crackdown on the criminal gun trafficking pipeline.”

The indictment was filed in the Northern District of Texas against Demontre Hackworth. He is charged with dealing firearms without a license and making false statements during the purchase of a firearm following his arrest June 10.

In total, Hackworth is accused of illegally selling 92 firearms, primarily handguns. Seventy-five of those were purchased from one federally licensed dealer in a span of six months,and the DOJ alleged Hackworth deceived the dealer to obtain the weapons. That dealer has since surrendered its license to sell firearms.

Law enforcement recovered 16 of the firearms in incidents including homicide, aggravated assault and drug trafficking, Merrick said.

One firearm was found after a homicide near Fort Worth, Texas, officials said.

Several of the weapons were additionally linked to multiple shootings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to data from the ATF National Integrated Ballistics Network.

“If you put illegal guns on our streets or into the hands of violent offenders, the Justice Department will spare no resource to hold you accountable,” Merrick said during a news conference Monday.

The announcement comes on the heels of the fatal mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

The shootings reignited the nationwide debate over gun control and Sunday, Senate bargainers announced a bipartisan framework that calls for measured gun curbs and bolsters efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.

“With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House,” President Joe Biden said in an official statement Sunday. “Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country: the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives.”

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