9 Charged In Kent Co. Gun Trafficking Case

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Nine people face a combined 77 charges following an investigation into straw purchases of at least 12 firearms in six separate transactions in the Dover area

According to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, who detailed the case Wednesday in Dover, investigators determined that co-defendants Nassir Williams, Jyheim Spencer, and John Lassiter – all of whom are prohibited from purchasing firearms – conspired to find adults with no criminal records to buy guns for them and their criminal associates. Prosecutors said the scheme went like this:

Williams, Spencer and Lassiter would direct straw purchasers to obtain a credit card, order firearms from an online retailer, and then have them delivered to a federal firearms licensee in Delaware. The purchaser would then retrieve the firearms, keeping one for themselves as “payment” for the transaction, and turning the rest over to Williams, Spencer, Lassiter, who in turn would sell them to their associates.

One firearm recovered from the investigation is alleged to have been used in a shooting, with another recovered from a suspected gang member.

“There’s no question that guns — and by extension gun trafficking — are driving violent crime in Delaware,” Jennings said. “Straw purchases may appear at face value to be a nonviolent offense, but the reality is that they are deadly. Guns are meant to do one thing, period, and that’s what’s at stake here. These are challenging investigations but they are critical to the safety of this state, and I’m grateful that state, local, and federal law enforcement partners are focusing on disrupting gun trafficking. We will continue to make these felonies a priority and to fight for policy change that prevents them from happening in the first place.”

“Straw purchasers criminally abuse the process of purchasing firearms and aid prohibited persons by supplying them with guns. They must be held accountable for illegally bringing firearms into the community,” Baltimore ATF Field Division Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby said. “The use of crime gun intelligence, diligent investigative work, and the strength of our partnership with law enforcement and prosecutors were key to this investigation. ATF will continue to work alongside our partners to identify and arrest anyone who threatens the safety of our communities.”

The Attorney General’s Office released these details about the suspects and the charges:

The charges and allegations are as follows:

  • Nasir Williams
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Nine counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Five counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, a Class D Felony
    • Four counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
    • Four counts of Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
    • Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, a Class G Felony
    • Possession of Marijuana, a civil violation

  • Jyheim Spencer
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Five counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Two counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
    • Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony

  • John G. Lassiter
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Four counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Three counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
    • Three counts of Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
  • Nakiya Goicuria
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Two counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Two counts of Giving a Firearm to Person Prohibited, a Class F Felony
    • Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
    • Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony

  • Naquan Peace
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Three counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Two counts of Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
    • Two counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
  • Kylen Thomas
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Two counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
    • Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony

  • Tuscan Wright
    • Racketeering, a Class B Violent Felony
    • Three counts of Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
    • Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
  • Darvis J. Epiewane
    • Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony
    • Making a False Written Statement, a Class G Felony
  • Kaharri Jackson
    • Engaging in a Firearm Transaction on Behalf of Another, a Class E Felony
    • Conspiracy 2nd Degree, a Class G Felony

Nasir Williams was taken into custody on May 12, 2022, on the sealed indictment and presented before a Superior Court commissioner. He is held at Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $60,000 cash bail.

John Lassiter was taken into custody on May 26, 2022, on the sealed indictment and presented before a Superior Court commissioner.  He is held at Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $30,000 cash bail.

Jyheim Spencer was taken into custody on June 1, 2022 and will be arraigned before a Superior Court commissioner.

Criminal charges in an indictment are merely an accusation, and the defendants above are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Deputy Attorney General Kevin Smith secured these charges following a collaborative investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Dover Police Department Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit, and Delaware State Police.

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