PHILADELPHIA - A man is facing multiple charges after authorities say he purchased multiple guns that ended up in the hands of convicted felons earlier this year.
On Monday, authorities with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced the arrest of Tyrone Patterson.
Patterson, 22, is accused of straw purchasing at least three guns that were later recovered from convicted felons during an investigation into gang violence in South Philadelphia. He has been charged with three counts of tampering with public record/information, giving false identification to purchase a firearm, and related charges.
Back in April, authorities say they arrested Haneef Wilkins in connection with an attempted homicide investigation. During his arrest, they recovered a semi-automatic pistol.
Authorities then traced the gun back to Patterson, who they say purchased that firearm and at least two others in mid-March.
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During their investigation into violence in South Philadelphia, all three guns allegedly purchased by Patterson were recovered from individuals who were not permitted to possess firearms due to their prior felony convictions.
Patterson was arrested last week on charges connected to the sale of those firearms. Authorities say he admitted to purchasing the firearms and understanding that they were being passed around on city streets.
During his arrest, authorities say Patterson informed them that his 3-year-old child was home alone while he worked an overnight shift. Police responded to his home and found the child alone inside with the smoke detector covered and stove left on to keep the child warm.
Patterson was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child as a result.
"Purchasing a gun for someone who isn’t legally able to carry one is a crime that leads to shootings and murders – which is what occurred in this case," read a statement from Attorney General Josh Shapiro. "All three weapons straw purchased by Mr. Patterson went directly into the hands of violent criminals, including a member of the 31st Street Gang charged with murder. Thanks to our ‘Track and Trace’ initiative, the electronic record of sale from the gun store was immediately available and helped us find the straw purchaser and other crime guns. People need to know, our gun violence task force is working overtime to follow up on these leads and holding straw purchasers accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
Patterson was arraigned and held on $1.5 million bail and is awaiting a preliminary hearing next week.