The Other McCain

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Killadelphia Update

Posted on | April 26, 2022 | Comments Off on Killadelphia Update

Say hello to Rahajahi Taylor Batchelor, 19, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to gun trafficking charges in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Batchelor was only 17 when he was arrested in September 2020 and, despite his youth, prosecutors said he was one of the “masterminds” of a major illegal firearms trafficking operation:

A Norristown man who as a teenager was accused of being one of the ringleaders of a multi-county gun trafficking network that illegally obtained and sold 44 firearms using straw purchase schemes has admitted to his role in the organization.
Rahajahi Taylor Batchelor, now 19, of the 1100 block of Green Street, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, illegal sale or transfer of firearms, criminal use of a communication facility, possession of a firearm by a minor and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred between March and August of 2020.
Judge Thomas C. Branca deferred sentencing so that court officials can complete a background investigation report about Batchelor. Branca said Batchelor will remain in the county jail without bail while awaiting his sentencing hearing, tentatively set for June.
The open guilty plea means Batchelor has no deals with prosecutors regarding his potential sentence. Batchelor potentially faces more than a decade in prison on the charges. . . .
“This 17-year-old was one of the ringleaders that orchestrated the straw purchases of 44 firearms by three adults and then illegally sold those firearms to people who could not legally buy firearms for themselves,” District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said in November 2020 when Batchelor was ordered to stand trial as an adult. “This defendant, along with his co-conspirators, has done a tremendous amount of damage to the safety of our community here in Montgomery County and in the greater southeastern Pennsylvania region.”
At the time of the arrests in September 2020, Steele alleged the organization’s “sole purpose is to make money by putting firearms in the hands of people who cannot lawfully buy and possess guns.”
Authorities alleged the gun trafficking organization was led by Batchelor, Terrence Barker, 21, of Philadelphia, and Mikal Scott, 19, of the 7900 block of Rolling Green Road, Cheltenham. Barker and Scott are still awaiting trial on corrupt organization and related charges.
Earlier this year, Anthony Jamaris McCrary, 26, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to charges he purchased 35 firearms via straw purchases at federally licensed gun dealers in the three counties between July and August 2020 on behalf of the gun trafficking network led by Batchelor, Barker and Scott. McCrary is awaiting sentencing.
A straw purchase occurs when a person with a clean background purchases firearms on behalf of another person to conceal the true ownership of the firearm. Those who are unable to legally purchase firearms include convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, juveniles and mentally ill individuals.

It was big news when the bust went down in September 2020:

Authorities dismantled a gun trafficking network operating in Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties, alleging nine adults and five juveniles, including some from Norristown and Cheltenham, illegally obtained and sold 44 firearms using a straw purchase scheme. . . .
Ashon Jared Pearson, 23, of the 1400 block of Arch Street, Norristown, Jamil Brown, 19, of Philadelphia, John McDonald, 21, of Philadelphia, and Clarence Codada, 18, of Philadelphia, also were charged with allegedly participating in the gun trafficking network. Four other juvenile males who ranged in age from 14 to 17 also face charges. . . .
“Oftentimes, some of the members of the gun trafficking organization accompanied the straw purchasers to the gun stores and helped choose the weapons,” Steele said.
“After the straw purchasers filled out the federal and state paperwork and lied on it, vowing that this gun was for their own use, they walk out of the gun store, they hand over the gun or guns to other members of the gun trafficking organization who immediately sold it, arming the people the law says cannot have a gun,” Steele added..
The charges lodged against all or some of the alleged participants include corrupt organizations, conspiracy, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and illegal sale or transfer of firearms. Bail was set for those charged and their preliminary hearings are pending.
“We may never know the true extent of the damage from these 44 illegal guns since guns obtained using a straw purchaser are typically immediately resold to people who can’t legally buy a gun for themselves. Then after an illegal firearm is used in a crime, it’s resold to other felons and the damage grows. It’s a domino effect,” Steele said.
Steele revealed only six of the 44 firearms have been recovered, including one that was linked to a shooting incident in Cheltenham and another seized during a traffic stop of a juvenile in Abington.
Thirty-eight of the guns remain on the streets.

Hey, did I mention that Philadelphia had a record 561 homicides last year? And that Joe Biden got 81% of the vote in Philadelphia? As our friend Dana Pico has frequently pointed out, the per capita homicide rate in Philadelphia is actually higher than Chicago’s. Dana recently did some more arithmetic and figured out that this year’s pace of murders in “Killadelphia” is lagging slightly behind 2021, so that there would be only 537 murders in the city, at the current pace — about 10 murders per week, on average. If any of the perpetrators are Trump voters or NRA members, this hasn’t been mentioned in the news coverage.



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