PEORIA (WEEK) — An Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to making false statements during the purchase of multiple firearms, according to the Department of Justice.
April Alexandra Soriano, 31, formerly of the 1800 block of East Bertman Avenue, pleaded guilty Wednesday, October 6, to making the false statements during firearms purchases between November 2018 and April 2020.
Her sentencing has been scheduled for January 27, 2022.
The statutory penalty is up to five years in prison for the offense of false statements to a licensed firearms dealer in connection with the purchase of a firearm. The fine is up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release.
In federal court, she admitted to lying on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives forms when she indicated she was purchasing the gun for herself when she was buying them for someone else, according to the DOJ.
During the change-of-plea hearing, the government stated that during an investigation of a shooting in Chicago, an ATF gun trace revealed that Soriano purchased five firearms from May 1, 2019, to April 15, 2020. A 9mm Taurus handgun she purchased in East Peoria on November 10, 2018, was recovered 64 days later by law enforcement during a search of the residence where she lived with her then-boyfriend in Peoria. A second gun, a 9mm Ruger handgun she purchased at Scheels All Sports in Springfield on April 14, 2020, was recovered 46 days later in Chicago following a shooting incident where a victim sustained a gunshot wound to the foot.
The government further stated that in filling out ATF forms to purchase both the (1) Taurus, Model G2C 9mm caliber pistol from Midwestern Firearms on November 10, 2018, and (2) the Ruger, Model EC9S 9mm caliber pistol from Scheels All Sports on April 14, 2020, Soriano certified that she was the actual buyer and was not acquiring the firearm on behalf of another person.
Soriano admitted that she provided false information on the forms and had, in fact, purchased both guns for the then-boyfriend. Soriano further admitted that she purchased Taurus pistol for her boyfriend when they lived together on East Nebraska Street in Peoria and said that it was used for protection because drug deals were taking place out of the residence. In relation to the Ruger pistol later recovered in Chicago, Soriano acknowledged that her boyfriend accompanied her to the gun store in Springfield and made the final decision on which gun to purchase.
“The continuing unacceptable level of violence in the Peoria area has multiple causes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. “There is no question that the illegal transfer and possession of firearms are contributing factors. The USAO and our law enforcement partners will do all we can to continue to address the firearm issue but we need the community to help. If you see something, please say something.”
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