A Lewiston man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor for his role in an illegal “straw purchasing” cash and drugs-for-guns conspiracy, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The straw purchase of a firearm is an illegal purchase where the actual buyer of the gun, who is unable to pass a federal background check or does not want their name associated with the transaction, uses a proxy buyer who can pass a background check to buy the firearm for them.
Abdullahi Issak, 26, of Lewiston was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
Issak previously pleaded guilty on April 13, 2023.
According to court records, between December 2021 and July 2022, Issak conspired to have 36 firearms straw purchased for him at federally-licensed firearms dealers throughout central and southern Maine.
Issak would direct the purchasers where to buy the guns, which ones to buy, and provided them with cash or drugs in exchange for engaging in the illegal transactions.
Issak was also sentenced for knowingly possessing one of the illegally purchased firearms which was bought for him at a federal firearms dealer in Jay, as a 2019 felony conviction in New York barred Issak from possessing firearms.
Although straw purchases were already illegal under federal law, the Maine State Legislature passed a bill signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills in June which banned the sale or transfer of firearms to prohibited persons — making a violation of the law a Class D crime.