According to court documents, an aerospace engineer with a six-figure salary and a crack dealer known as “The Plug” worked together to illegally sell hundreds of firearms in the D.C. area, CNN reports.
Leonard J. Laraway was an engineer with a government security clearance at the Defense Contract Management Agency. Bobby Perkins, Jr. was a former Marine known to have sold drugs, including cocaine and heroin.
Together, they illegally sold an estimated 200 guns before attracting the attention of investigators.
Laraway had built a steady side business for himself by legally purchasing guns from licensed shops and then reselling them online in cash transactions without the required paperwork.
Perkins, after purchasing one of the firearms, went on to buy more and more, reselling them himself after the fact. The two would establish a loose partnership in which Perkins would receive guns to sell, paying once they were resold. Payments were made directly into Laraway’s checking account, with tens of thousands of dollars deposited over just a few weeks.
In 2015, authorities took notice of Laraway, determining that he had purchased more than 300 guns in less than two years. They opened an investigation. The next year, Laraway was indicted for the unlicensed sale of more than 400 firearms.
He pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators in the case against Perkins in exchange for leniency in his own sentencing. He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Perkins was later accused of selling more than 200 handguns, including to individuals he knew to be felons.
— CNN (@CNN) January 20, 2019
“The magnitude of Perkins’ gun running is difficult to overstate,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Blanchard at the time.
In imposing sentencing in the case, Judge T.S. Ellis III called out that a number of the guns resold by Perkins had landed in the hands of violent criminals, several of whom were caught with the weapons during violent crimes.
“Maybe you didn’t shoot somebody and maybe you didn’t attack somebody, but you clearly were surrounded by instruments of violence,” Ellis stated. “It’s important that any sentence I impose on you must stand as a beacon, as a warning to others not to engage in this conduct.”
Perkins was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.
Laraway has already completed his time and is now a free man. Due to his conviction, however, he is no longer able to maintain his security clearance and was last reported to be managing a gas station.