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Former Marine Corps private pleads guilty to gun trafficking

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  • Staff Report 

Rylan Peterson, a 22-year-old former Marine Corps Private from Kingston, New York, has pleaded guilty to charges of gun trafficking, including “straw purchasing” firearms and transferring them unlawfully to an out-of-state resident. This announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and ATF’s New York Field Division Special Agent in Charge John B. DeVito.

Peterson confessed to conspiring with Oryn McLeod to acquire six semi-automatic handguns under false pretenses, falsely claiming the firearms were for personal use. The weapons, purchased by North Carolina resident Mitchell Locke, were then transported by Peterson to New York. McLeod, who paid Peterson for the firearms, was later arrested for illegal possession of two handguns.

Scheduled for sentencing on July 10, 2024, Peterson faces up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case, investigated by ATF and the Kingston Police Department, is among the first prosecuted under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, targeting illegal firearms trafficking and straw purchasing.