Suspects allegedly used stolen military ID to purchase guns online

John Paul Image
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Suspects allegedly used stolen military ID to purchase guns online
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Suspects allegedly used stolen military ID to purchase guns online

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Three men face up to 500 felony charges in a case where investigators claim they used a stolen military ID to purchase firearms online and sell them.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General and the Montgomery County District Attorney announced the arrest of the men on Thursday after an investigation that started in June.

Those charged include Philadelphia residents Taalibudeen 'Taalib' Ibn Hasdn Anderson, 22, and Tariq Anderson, 23, along with Daijon Griffin, 21, of Wilmington, Delaware.

They were arrested on identity theft and gun trafficking charges related to the purchase of 14 firearms with the stolen ID of an active-duty soldier.

Law enforcement became suspicious about the guns being purchased by Anderson, using a different name, in late June and July.

Investigators said he purchased the guns online through Whittaker Guns under the name of the active-duty soldier and had them sent to a licensed firearms dealer, which is required by law.

They said Anderson picked the guns up from TriTac Firearms using the fake ID and later tried to buy 14 more, but he was being monitored by investigators and was caught.

"These defendants were arming criminals, plain and simple. And the actions of these criminals are made even worse by their taking advantage of a loss by a soldier serving our country," said DA Kevin Steele in a news release. "The recovery by law enforcement of three of the 14 straw-purchased firearms within days of their purchase show how fast these illegal guns show up at crime scenes. This flow of illegal firearms onto the streets makes all of our communities less safe."

Adam Garber of CeaseFire PA said straw purchased firearms are a big problem because they end up in the hands of criminals. He wants more safeguards in place to prevent dealers from selling to people who can't legally purchase firearms.

"Why didn't we catch this before the first round of big gun purchases?" Garber asked. "This is why we need to get gun dealers to be partners in this and really work closely to catch those ID mistakes."

6abc asked the owner of TriTac about the situation. He said he was checking with his lawyer before making a statement. He is not alleged to have committed any crime.