BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — According to the Department of Justice, a Beckley woman was sentenced today, December 5, 2022, for her role as a straw firearms purchaser in a Beckley-Philadelphia gun trafficking crime.

Lakeshia Nicole Simon, 23, of Beckley, was sentenced today to five years of federal probation for making false statements in acquisition of firearms. Simon admitted to a straw purchasing role in a conspiracy to traffic more than 140 firearms from Beckley to Philadelphia.

According to court information, Simon admitted to straw purchasing firearms in Beckley for Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh.” Jones provided Simon with money to buy the firearms and told her which ones to buy through a middle-person.

Simon admitted to purchasing two Ruger Model Ruger 57, 5.7x28mm 5.7-caliber pistols for Jones on April 20, 2021. Simon also admitted to buying at least three additional firearms for Jones, so he and others could transport and resell them outside of West Virginia.

Simon admitted that for each purchase, she falsely certified on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Records Form 4473 that she was the buyer of the firearms when she knew she was purchasing the firearms for someone else.

On March 3, 2022, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Simon, Jones and 11 other individuals in the firearms trafficking conspiracy. Simon is among seven defendants who have pleaded guilty to making false statements in acquisition of firearms. An addition, seven individuals have pleaded guilty to firearms offenses related to the firearm trafficking conspiracy.

Of the more than 140 firearms trafficked in the conspiracy, approximately 45 have been recovered at crime scenes primarily in Philadelphia and have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses.