Two people sentenced for illegal purchase of 11 guns involving f - KPTV - FOX 12

Two people sentenced for illegal purchase of 11 guns involving felon in Salem

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Two people were sentenced to prison in connection with the illegal purchase of 11 guns from two businesses in Salem.

Sylis Terrance Thomas, 25, and Lakisha Berry, 25, both of Salem, previously pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to make false statements to two Salem-area gun sellers. 

The investigation began in October 2015. Police said Berry purchased nine handguns from The Pawn Shop and two handguns from Sportsman’s Warehouse, both federal firearms licensees in Salem, on the same day.

Salem police notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents subsequently obtained surveillance video showing Berry inside one of the businesses while Thomas selected guns. Berry then signed federally required sales documents declaring she was the actual buyer and the weapons were not purchased for anyone else.

Thomas is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms.

Two weeks after the purchase, one of the handguns was recovered in Oakland, California as part of an investigation into an attempted murder and robbery, according to the Department of Justice.

Later in October, a federal search warrant was obtained for Thomas’ home. Investigators said Thomas admitted giving money to Berry to purchase the guns and that he wanted them for protection, even though he was “highly aware” that it was against the law.

Thomas said Berry knew he could not have guns, according to investigators, but she agreed to buy them anyway.

Agents determined Thomas and Berry left Salem immediately after purchasing the guns, drove to Oakland, California and later sold the guns for cash to acquaintances in Sacramento.

The Department of Justice reports the California Highway Patrol recovered a pistol that was purchased by Berry from a driver during a traffic stop in November 2015.

The locations of the other nine guns purchased in this case remain unknown.

Thomas was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison, while Berry received a one-year prison sentence. Both were ordered to serve three years of post-prison supervision.

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