NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


August 2, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

STRAW GUN PURCHASE LANDS BALTIMORE MAN IN JAIL

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Leonard James Fields, 27, of 2602 Beryl Avenue, Baltimore, plead guilty to Conspiracy to Participate in a Straw Purchase and Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm. Fields is prohibited from possessing a handgun due to his prior convictions for second degree assault in 1998 and transporting a handgun in a vehicle in 1996. Fields initially attempted to apply for a handgun, but was denied by the Maryland State Police from making the purchase in light of his previous convictions. Fields then asked Angela Anderson, 29, of 2429 Wilgrey Court, Baltimore, to apply for and buy a handgun for him, which she agreed to do. Fields then transported her to the gun store, Arundel Firearms and Pawn Shop, located in Glen Burnie, and he gave her the money to buy the gun. She then illegally transferred it to him once she was approved. The loaded handgun was subsequently recovered by the Maryland State Police Ceasefire Unit, from a light fixture in Fields’ home.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Smith sentenced Fields to five years in jail with all but one year suspended, and three years of supervised probation upon his release. Anderson previously pled guilty to Conspiracy to Participate in a Straw Purchase and Illegal Transfer of a Regulated Firearm, and was sentenced to two five-year concurrent suspended terms of incarceration, and placed on three years supervised probation.

"We will continue to crackdown on those people who attempt to circumvent the law by having others purchase guns on their behalf," Attorney General Curran said. "This is a result of the system working as it should. With two prior convictions, there is a good reason Mr. Fields was not allowed to purchase a gun for himself."

This case was prosecuted as part of Operation Crime Gun and was investigated by the Maryland State Police Ceasefire Unit. Moreover, the Assistant Attorney General involved in the case is cross-designated as an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s FIVE Unit. This partnership is designed to combat firearms violations that extend beyond the City’s limits into surrounding counties. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from a grant received from the Governor’’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention.

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