MARTINSBURG, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Two West Virginia residents have been charged with the illegal purchase of firearms that were later used in violent crimes.
Nakita Ann Lake, age 33, and Gerald Anthony Tonsil, 31, both of Martinsburg, were indicted today on multiple federal gun charges, to include a conspiracy to transfer firearms to prohibited persons.
According to court documents, the defendants visited firearms dealers in Berkeley County where Tonsil provided Lake with cash to purchase guns. Tonsil is prohibited from purchasing and owning firearms because of a prior felony and thus engaged the help of Lake.
The investigation revealed that Tonsil sold some of the firearms, two of which were recovered in shooting incidents in New York.
“Gun traffickers endanger the lives of people in West Virginia and throughout the country,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “My office will continue to pursue those who profit from putting guns in the hands of those who use them for violence.”
Lake is charged with a total of four counts and Tonsil faces seven counts. If convicted, each faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count and up to 10 years on each remaining count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.