Jury says Alabama woman lied about gun purchase, bought it for someone else and may face years in prison

Published 1:13 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023

A federal jury yesterday convicted a Tuscaloosa resident for making a straw purchase of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

The jury returned its guilty verdict against Devon Demarcus Hamler, 24, of Tuscaloosa, after two days of testimony before Chief U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler. Hamler was convicted of conspiracy to make a false statement during the purchase of a firearm, making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm, and sale or transfer to a prohibited person. Hamler was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal. Hamler’s sentencing is set for May 23, 2023.

“The straw purchase of a firearm is felonious conduct and a felony conviction ensures that those who commit this crime can no longer purchase firearms for others,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “I commend the work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to remove guns from the hands of prohibited persons.”

“A person violates federal law the moment that they purchase and transfer a firearm to any individual who cannot legally possess them,” said SAC Watson. “The ATF is committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners to investigate and prosecute these “straw purchasers” in conjunction with the individuals who receive these firearms and use them to commit violent criminal acts.”

According to evidence presented at trial, on April 20, 2022, Hamler – the straw purchaser – purchased a Glock 9mm pistol from a licensed firearms dealer, Guns and Ammo, LLC, located in Tuscaloosa. Hamler falsified documents by specifically stating that she was the actual buyer when in fact she was buying the firearm for another person who was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy is 5 years in prison. The maximum penalty for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm and for sale or transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person is 10 years in prison.

The ATF investigated the case along with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel S. McBrayer, Brad Felton, and Darius Greene are prosecuting the case.