San Francisco police and federal authorities
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
October 2, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco police have tracked
down almost 20 handguns bought in Arizona and distributed illegally
in the Bay Area and federal authorities today said it's only the
According to U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, the recovery begins to
answer questions that have been on everybody's minds, like where
are the guns coming from and how are they ending up on the streets.
"It's important that we run to the ground, not only the
guns, but the people responsible for bringing them into the community,"
Ryan said today in front of a San Francisco map with handgun decals
representing the neighborhoods where the guns where confiscated
-- the Bayview District accounted for the most, with six stickers.
According to federal prosecutors, Philip Fonsworth-McCorvey is
to blame for bringing the guns across state lines. McCorvey, a
man in his late 20s who once lived in San Francisco, is suspected
of purchasing the handguns in several shops in the Phoenix area.
Each gun dealer registered McCorvey's purchases with the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When several of
those serial numbers began showing up in San Francisco, the Police
Department got involved and began documenting the finds.
Of the total 58 guns allegedly purchased legally by McCorvey,
20 have been recovered. All but two of those were found in and
around San Francisco in a variety of ways, from home searches
to parolee checks. Police recovered at least one handgun in Oakland
and one in San Mateo.
According to San Francisco police Deputy Chief Morris Tabak,
several of the guns were used in shootings and homicides, and
although he didn't specify which killings, he did say that most
of the guns at some point moved through the Glenridge apartment
complex on Addison Street.
Once the guns made it to San Francisco, they were distributed
illegally among gang members and other violent criminals.
The process is known as straw purchasing, according to Ryan,
and what made these guns even more dangerous is that they are
semiautomatic and come with high-capacity ammunition clips able
to carry over ten bullets at a time.
The remaining 38 firearms from this case are still believed to
be on the streets, and according to Stephen Martin, special agent
in charge of the ATF's San Francisco division, this case is only
one of many involving illegal gun distribution.
"Individuals who move firearms from the legal to illegal
market do so to arm prohibited persons like drug dealers and gang
members," Martin said. "It makes victims not only out
of the people being shot at, it makes victims of the communities."
McCorvey is currently out on bail in Arizona and faces up to
10 years per count of conspiracy and making false statements in
connection with the acquisition of firearms.
An alleged accomplice, Andre Burr, also faces charges of illegally
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