Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy, along with Montgomery and Bucks County District Attorneys Kevin R. Steele and Matthew Weintraub, announced yesterday the dismantling of a gun trafficking organization that purchased and illegally sold 34 firearms in Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties. Five men have been arrested.
The gun trafficking organization was led by three men from Glenside, Clayton Robinson, 20, Julian Robinson, 31, and Kenneth Robinson, 18, Joseph Lynch III, 25, of Georgia, Maurice Baker IV, 23, of Bristol, and Brett Portner, 22, of Jenkintown.
According to authorities, Baker, Portner and Lynch straw purchased 34 guns, then sold them in exchange for drugs and money. A “straw purchase” is when a person with a clean background purchases firearms specifically on behalf of another person to conceal the true ownership of the firearm. Authorities say Clayton and his brothers, Julian and Kenneth, sold the guns on the street.
The investigation began when Robinson was found with an illegal firearm, which led officials to Portner and Lynch. From there, law enforcement used the Electronic Record of Sale (EROS) system, hard copies of ATF and Pennsylvania State Police forms at gun stores, surveillance, interviews, information from law enforcement agencies, call detail records and cellphone downloads, and other methods of investigation.
The investigation also had assistance from the FBI Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force and Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA.
The investigation found that Lynch purchased 17 firearms for the gun trafficking organization in 2020 and 2021, Portner purchased five guns in 2021 and 22, and Baker purchased 12 guns in 2021. The investigation also found that Robinson used a power tool to illegally remove each firearm’s serial number. He also sold “switches,” slang for kits that convert semiautomatic handguns to fully automatic.
The preliminary hearing for these defendants is scheduled for 10:00am, December 15, 2022.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Lynch, who is still at large. If anyone has information about the Lynch’s whereabouts, or has information about additional illegal firearms being bought and/or sold by any of these defendants, call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Crime Tip Line at 610-278-DOIT (3648).
For more coverage, you can read the Bucks County District Attorney’s statement here or CBS News’ coverage here.