JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The United States Department of Justice announced the return of an indictment charging 34-year-old Byron Jones, Jr. with making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during the attempted purchase of a firearm. If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, Jones attempted to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Jones indicated on the required paperwork that he was not a convicted felon. This was a false statement since Jones has three prior felony convictions, from 2015 and 2018, including a conviction for carrying a concealed firearm.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This is another case uncovered through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). All NICS denials are reported to federal law enforcement and are reviewed daily for potential criminal prosecution. Federal law makes it a felony offense to make a false statement to a firearms dealer when trying to purchase a firearm.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone
. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
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