Philly man sentenced for firearm straw purchases, one involved in a Cheltenham shooting

Kareem Faruqui Reed, 24, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to purchasing three firearms through straw purchase schemes and has been sentenced to 5 to 10 years in a state correctional facility.

An investigation began after one of the firearms was found near the scene of a Cheltenham shooting on April 16, 2022. Cheltenham police responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Ogontz Avenue and Shopper’s Lane in the Wyncote section of Cheltenham. One person sustained an injury but that injury was not life-threatening, police said.

The investigation also found evidence that the firearm was most likely the weapon used in a gunpoint carjacking in Philadelphia the same day as the Cheltenham shooting. The recovered firearm, a Glock 23 Gen 4, .40 caliber semiautomatic firearm—had been purchased on June 20, 2021 by Reed and had not been reported as lost or stolen, indicating it was a straw purchase.

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.

After the firearm was recovered from the underage defendant, a joint investigation began into Reed’s firearm purchases. By going through hard copies of ATF and Pennsylvania State Police purchasing forms at gun stores, detectives found that from April 7, 2021 to November 13, 2021, Reed purchased four firearms. Three of the firearms were purchased at a gun store in Chalfont in Bucks County and one was purchased in Lafayette Hill in Montgomery County.

Further investigation included reviewing call and texting records, which showed that Reed was selling the firearms illegally and instructing the purchaser to obliterate or remove the gun’s serial number, which is a separate crime.

Detectives interviewed the defendant and gave him the opportunity to produce the firearms he had purchased. He came back to detectives with two firearms, one of which had a partially obliterated serial number. Detectives recovered another firearm, which Reed had illegally transferred to an individual known as “Na,” from a vehicle at the Philadelphia Parking Authority impound lot where “Na’s” vehicle had been towed.

Detectives were able to recover all four firearms.

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Photo: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office