Former city resident indicted on charges of ‘straw purchasing’
58 guns; 18 recovered in area
More than a dozen guns purchased in Arizona by a former city resident wound up in the hands of San Francisco gang members, and some may have been used in homcides, law enforcement officials said Monday.
Philip Fonsworth-McCorvey, a former San Francisco resident who now resides in Glendale, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges he illegally purchased 58 firearms in Arizona and then provided them to others, United States Attorney Kevin Ryan said. Andre Burr of San Francisco was also indicted on charges he purchased some of the guns from McCorvey.
Although 38 of the firearms — described as semi-automatic handguns — have not yet been recovered, 13 of the weapons were picked up in San Francisco, two in San Mateo, two in Oakland and one in Redwood City.
San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Morris Tabak said gang members purchased the guns, many of which police connected to the Glenridge apartment complex on Addison Street.
“We believe a lot of these guns have been used in crimes in San Francisco, some of them shootings, some of them homicides,” Tabak said. “These cases are being investigated.”
Guns were recovered in a variety of ways — two were abandoned, others found in routine searches — in areas including the Western Addition, Bayview, Ingleside and Sunnydale, Tabak said. The gun found most recently in San Francisco was recovered in July from a parolee who was searched after a traffic stop.
The recovered guns were traced back to McCorvey, who in August 2005 had reported many of them stolen in order to conceal his role as a “straw purchaser,” said Stephen Martin, a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The 58 weapons had been purchased in six shopping expeditions at five different Phoenix pawnshops and gun stores between June and October 2005.
According to the indictment, McCorvey was contacted by a third party and was given the money to purchase the firearms, as well as instructions on which weapons to purchase.
Two other guns were found in Oklahoma, according to federal officials.
McCorvey, who turned himself in to authorities Sept. 29, is out on bail. His next scheduled court appearance is in Arizona on Nov. 14. He has been charged with one count of conspiracy and nine counts of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of the firearms. Each count carries a potential penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison.
Although large quantities of guns come into California from other states, most are purchased within state lines, Ryan said.