An Atlanta man has been sentenced to prison for illegally acquiring dozens of firearms, many of which were later recovered by police at different crime scenes in the metro area and beyond.

June 25, Ben’Andre Javon Goolsby, 25, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Michael L. Brown to three years, four months in jail followed by three years of supervised release. He was convicted of making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer and unlawful receipt of a firearm, after he pleaded guilty Jan. 11.

“Goolsby’s illegal purchases of firearms helped fuel the violence in our community,” acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a news release. “Those who illegally receive, possess and peddle weapons face prosecution and significant federal prison terms for their actions.”

In the release, ATF Special Agent in Charge Arthur Peralta added, “By putting guns in the hands of criminals, Mr. Goolsby has violated the trust of his community, the trust of those he should care about and has contributed to the unnecessary violence in our communities. It is not okay to buy guns for people who cannot legally own them and doing so has consequences.”

According to Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court, from October 2017 through the date of his arrest in May 2020, Goolsby bought 33 pistols from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Jonesboro. Most of the firearms were 9mm and .40 caliber pistols. On several occasions, he purchased multiple guns of identical make, model and caliber within a single week.

During every transaction, Goolsby falsely stated to the firearms dealer he was not under indictment for a felony offense. In fact, Goolsby knew at the time of each of his many purchases he had been indicted in Rockdale County for a smash-and-grab burglary and other crimes. Those charges related to a 2014 break-in at a pawn shop from which Goolsby and others stole numerous firearms. Because federal law forbids any individual under indictment from receiving firearms, each of his purchases was unlawful.

Several of the guns Goolsby purchased found their way into the hands of individuals who sought to — and did — use them unlawfully. For example, in September 2018, police officers in Forest Park pulled over a car in which one of the 9mm pistols Goolsby bought was found alongside two other guns, pepper spray, walkie-talkies and a taser. The vehicle’s occupants were dressed entirely in black and had black masks and gloves.

In June 2019, sheriff’s deputies in Decatur found another of Goolsby’s 9mm pistols in the possession of a fugitive who was wanted on aggravated assault charges. A month later, also in Decatur, police confiscated a Goolsby-purchased .40 caliber pistol from a 19-year-old suspected of robbing a jewelry store and burglarizing a dollar store and gas station.

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