The "Iron Pipeline": Feds Arrest 14, Halt "Major" Gun-Trafficking Ring Selling 100s Of Firearms In Philly

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 14, 2022 - 09:25 PM

The Feds have busted what is being called a "major gun trafficking ring" that resulted in hundreds of firearms making their way to Philadelphia. The news, announced on Monday, has led to 14 separate arrests, a report from Patch said. 

Two separate interstate firearms trafficking cases have resulted in the more than one dozen arrests.

The arrests involve individuals who have illegally trafficked firearms from southern U.S. states into Philadelphia, a route that authorities have called the "iron pipeline". Philadelphia is one of many major cities that has suffered from a rise in gun violence over the last decade.

The trafficking conspiracies are alleged to be responsible for about 400 guns making their way onto the streets. 

In one indictment, 11 people have been charged "with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to make a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer," the report says. About half of those charged were from Philadelphia, and the other half from Georgia.

In a second indictment, three people were charged with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to make a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer. One individual in the second indictment was also charged with dealing firearms without a license.

"ATF agents identified multiple firearms found in the Philadelphia area as having been originally purchased in Georgia" as early as October 2020, the report says. From there, Feds ascertained that about 300 firearms were bought from dealers around Atlanta and then were transported for distribution and sale on the black market in Philadelphia. 

They were sold for approximately $116,000, the report says. It continues:

And in March 2020, ATF agents found multiple firearms found in Philadelphia as having been originally purchased in South Carolina, authorities said. Agents subsequently learned about a number of additional firearms recovered in Philadelphia with short "time to crime" periods that indicated they may have been trafficked into the city, just as in Norman, et al., according to authorities.

According to the Indictment, the recovered firearms were concentrated in a particular area of Philadelphia and were originally purchased near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.