Philly Man Accused Of Selling 4 Guns To Teen

Philly Man Accused Of Selling 4 Guns To Teen In Exchange For Drugs

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DA Seth Williams speaks to reporters Thursday about straw purchases. DA Seth Williams speaks to reporters Thursday about straw purchases.
PHILADELPHIA -

A 32-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man is accused of selling four guns to an alleged 16-year-old drug dealer in exchange for heroin, the Philadelphia District Attorney announced Thursday.

According to police, Luke Dercole, 32, allegedly sold the guns to 16-year-old Michael Burak.

Police say Burak then used one of the guns to shoot Jonathan Espinosa in October.

District Attorney Seth Williams told reporters Thursday during a news conference that it was time to get tough on straw purchases.

"This case demonstrates the need for such severe punishment on straw purchases," Williams said.

Straw purchases have received plenty of attention after the killing of Montgomery County police officer Brad Fox. Fox was shot and killed during a hit-and-run investigation last year.

Investigators said the gun used to kill Fox was purchased by a middle man.

Police say the problem is widespread.

In Philadelphia, there were 324 homicides last year and the district attorney says 85 percent of those involved illegal handguns.

Williams says this year will be different.

"If you carry a gun on the streets of Philadelphia without a license, you're going to jail."

The alleged 16-year-old drug dealer faces attempted murder and other related charges while the man accused of buying the guns is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

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