CAMDEN – A North Carolina woman is facing five years in prison after admitting to her role in a scheme to purchase weapons in Georgia and transport them to New Jersey for resale, US Attorney Craig Carpenito announced
Anastacia Thomas, 26, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty before US District Judge Joseph Rodriguez in Camden federal court to information charging her with conspiring to illegally traffic firearms.
On Jan. 25, 2018, police conducted a motor vehicle stop in Deptford, New Jersey. The car that was stopped was registered to a 28-year old Anthony Doyle, of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Doyle was riding in the passenger seat beside Thomas when police stopped them.
During the traffic stop, officers observed a Glock handgun in plain view on the front seat passenger floor, loaded with 14 hollow tip bullets, as well as a firearm box in the backseat of the car, next to a backpack. A search also revealed four additional handguns and two additional firearm boxes.
According to law enforcement officials, Thomas purchased the four handguns in the backpack on Jan. 22, 2018, from a pawnshop in Jonesboro, Georgia. Thomas had purchased several additional firearms from that same pawnshop over the course of multiple visits, and Doyle accompanied Thomas to the pawnshop on at least two of those visits.
Between Nov. 30, 2017 and Jan. 25, 2018, Doyle and Thomas conspired to deal firearms without a license. Thomas purchased the firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers and Doyle used social media to advertise firearms for sale, negotiate pricing, and arrange transactions. Doyle even discussed the various firearm transactions in great detail over the course of hundreds of pages of online messages, according to police.
Thomas was charged with conspiring to illegally traffic firearms, which carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.