Philadelphia, March 18, 2010: District Attorney Seth Williams along with Attorney General Tom Corbett and The Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force announced today the arrest of over two dozen suspects accused of illegal gun trafficking, straw purchasing and other firearm offenses.
“The Gun Violence Task Force has been a vital component for fighting crime in Philadelphia,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “These arrests show that directing our efforts at crimes related to illegal guns effectively results in getting some of the worst criminals off our streets.”
The District Attorney, Attorney General Tom Corbett, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey all say the arrests are part of an ongoing effort to tackle the problem of gun violence and homicides in Philadelphia.
Since its inception the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force has opened 1,311 investigations, made 424 arrests, seized 779 firearms and convicted 183 individuals of straw purchasing and other gun trafficking offenses. According to agents, at least 15 of the suspects facing charges today were involved in some type of straw purchase transaction.
“The positive impact this Task Force has had on Philadelphia is undeniable,” Corbett said. “Not only have these agents made arrests and seized illegal firearms, but have assisted in solving shootings, burglaries, robberies, and homicides.”
Most recently, noted the District Attorney, one of those cases involved the gun that was used by Mustafa Ali. Ali was convicted of First Degree Murder on February 17, 2010 for the fatal double shooting of two armored car guards at a Northeast Philadelphia ATM. The victims were former Police Officers 54 year old Joseph Alullo and 65 year old William Widmaier. Two other arrests in connection with that shooting were made as well thanks to the Task Force. They were able to trace the gun to a Philadelphia man and his co-worker, and both were charged with illegal transfer of a firearm.