Chester man arrested for straw purchase of two guns at a gun show

Media, PA – District Attorney Jack Whelan announced the arrest of Rashan Lemar DeJarnette, 22, who is facing felony charges for the straw purchase of two firearms which he purchased for a convicted felon.

The arrest is the conclusion of a joint investigation conducted by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the Pennsylvania Attorney General Gun Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Rashan Lemar DeJarnette, 22, 100 block of Worrell Street in Chester, is charged with various gun-related charges including firearm ownership and providing false information, sales to ineligible transferee, all felonies of the third degree. He is also charged with false statements and false reports to law enforcement and related charges. If convicted of at least two charges, DeJarnette faces a 5-year minimum mandatory sentence under the Brad Fox Law.

On June 6, Detective David Tyler and Sergeant William Gordon of the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division met with Officer Martin Dietz of the Pennsylvania Attorney General Gun Task Force reference to a straw purchase and illegal transfer of a gun which occurred in May. Following an investigation, it was determined that DeJarnette filled out paperwork and purchased two firearms for Jackson in exchange for money.

During a gun show held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks later identified as Rashan DeJarnette and Harry Jackson, along with two other unknown males, were observed handling and examining different guns.  As the group browsed the guns, Jackson appeared to be in charge of selecting firearms for further examination. While at a vendor table, Harry Jackson, a convicted felon, was observed picking out two guns and showing them to DeJarnette. Later, Jackson was observed handling DeJarnette money which was payment for the guns.

On May 4, Task Force Officers went to DeJarnette’s place of employment, Fair Acres in Middletown Township and interviewed him in reference to the two guns. During the interview, DeJarnette admitted he knew purchasing the firearms for someone else is illegal and stated that he did not get paid for purchasing the guns. He stated that he reported the guns as stolen to the Chester Police Department because he got scared when he heard that agents were looking for him.

DeJarnette was arraigned and remanded to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility after failing to post $50,000 cash bail.

Since 2014, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office has prosecuted and convicted five individuals for the straw purchase of guns under the Brad Fox Law which went into effect in January 2013. DeJarnette is the seventh individual to be arrested by authorities in Delaware County for the straw purchase of guns.

In partnership with police departments in Delaware County, the Office of the District Attorney launched an anti-crime straw purchase campaign to raise awareness about the serious charges associated with the illegal transfer of guns and to make it known that those who commit gun crimes will be prosecuted.

District Attorney Whelan noted that the Gun Trafficking Unit will continue working with local, state and federal authorities in law enforcement to crack down on the illegal transfer and straw purchase of firearms and reduce crime in the city of Chester.

“We know that the vast majority of the illegal guns on the streets used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchases,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “In the case of Rashan DeJarnette, he went to a gun show with the intent to purchase these guns for a felon, without any regard for the law. I would like to commend Det. Tyler for leading the investigation with Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Gun Task Force and the ATF in locating the defendant and making the arrest.”

Deputy District Attorney George B. Dawson, Chief of the Anti-Violence Unit is prosecuting the case.