7 women buy 30 guns from sports stores in Metro Detroit for convicted felon to sell on streets

Ruemondo Murray, seven women charged in weapon trafficking ring

Ruemondo Juan Murray (MDOC)

DETROIT - Seven women bought more than 30 guns from Dunham's Sports and firearms stores in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties for "White Boy," a convicted felon who was banned from having firearms, to resell on the streets, officials said.

Ruemondo Murray is accused of directing Regina Blanchard, Shakira May, Precious Prevot, Yalanda Hardrick, Tiffany Simmons, Candace Simmons and Tywana Murray to buy guns for him at stores around Metro Detroit.

A 19-year special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Detroit told officials the women bought more than 30 handguns for Murray in about two months.

Ruemondo Murray's criminal history

Murray was previously convicted of armed robbery in 2013 and 2006 and a firearms offense in 2006. He is not allowed to possess firearms, officials said.

He doesn't have a federal firearms license, so he is not permitted to buy and sell firearms, the special agent said.

ATF officials searched Murray's home on Marlowe Street in Detroit on Jan. 11 and found a Colt handgun loaded with five bullets under his mattress, according to authorities.

Regina Blanchard

Police said Blanchard, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports store in Roseville on Oct. 24 to buy four firearms.

She bought two Smith & Wesson SD9VE handguns and two Smith & Wesson SD40VE handguns, the special agent said.

On Oct. 29, Blanchard went to the Dunham's Sports store in Warren and bought four more handguns matching the four from the Roseville store, according to authorities.

The special agent interviewed Blanchard Nov. 2 and learned that she had met with a man she knew as "White Boy."

Blanchard said "White Boy" gave her $1,500 and told her to go to Dunham's Sports in Roseville to buy four Smith & Wesson handguns. She said she had about $230 left over and was told to keep it as payment for buying the guns.

Blanchard said she was picked up Oct. 29 by a woman she knew as Crystal, who she believed to be the sister of "White Boy."

Crystal drove Blanchard to Dunham's to buy more firearms for "White Boy," authorities said.

Blanchard said there was another woman with them who also bought two Smith & Wesson handguns.

Crystal told Blanchard to send photos of the guns to the other woman so she would know what to buy, according to authorities. Blanchard's phone records show she sent a text message with photos to a number that belonged to May, the special agent said.

Sales records show May bought firearms from the same Dunham's Sports store on Oct. 29, police said.

Blanchard said when she went to buy the second four guns, she took the first four out of her house and gave them to Crystal. She then left the second four handguns in the car with Crystal, officials said.

Blanchard told police she was promised half the profit from the sales of the guns. She said "White Boy" told her he could make "way more on the streets than what they were going for in the store."

During a March 21 search at an Ontario, Canada, storage unit, police found two firearms that traced back to Blanchard's Oct. 24 purchase, according to authorities.

Blanchard provided a description of "White Boy" that matched Murray's appearance, the special agent said. He has a medium complexion, a thin build and multiple tattoos on his neck and face.

Phone records show there were more than 330 contacts between Blanchard and phone numbers registered to Murray between Sept. 30 and Nov. 28, officials said.

Shakira May

May, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports store in Warren on Oct. 29 to buy a Smith & Wesson SD40VE handgun and a Smith & Wesson SD9VE handgun, officials said.

When the special agent interviewed May on Dec. 21, she said she went with two women -- one she knew and one she didn't know. The woman she didn't know has been identified as Blanchard, according to the agent.

May said the women she knew provided money for the firearms purchase. She said she bought two guns and Blanchard bought two or four guns that day, according to authorities.

May said she went back to the other woman's house after buying the firearms and gave them to an unidentified man. Her description of the man matched the appearance of Murray, the special agent said.

She said Murray left with the firearms.

Phone records show there were at least 39 contacts between May and a phone number registered to Murray between Sept. 30 and Nov. 28.

Precious Prevot

Prevot, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports in Warren on Oct. 20 to buy two firearms -- a Smith & Wesson SD9VE handgun and a Smith & Wesson SD40VE handgun, officials said.

Prevot went to the same store Oct. 27 and bought four more handguns -- two Smith & Wesson SD9VE handguns and two Smith & Wesson SD40VE handguns, police said.

The special agent said he interviewed Prevot on Nov. 23 and she said she had met a man known to her as "Sonny." Her description of the man matched Murray's appearance, according to authorities.

She said "Sonny" called her Oct. 20 and asked her to buy some guns for him. "Sonny" picked her up and drove her to Dunham's Sports and showed her photos of a sales ad or coupon that showed the guns he wanted her to buy, officials said.

Prevot said "Sonny" gave her cash for the guns and stayed in the car while she went inside and made the purchase.

Prevot believes she bought four Smith & Wesson handguns on that day, police said.

"Sonny" picked Prevot up a week later and took her to the store to buy four more guns, police said. He again waited in the car while she went inside and made the purchase, according to officials.

Prevot said she hasn't seen the guns since she bought them for "Sonny."

She said she was promised half the profit from the sale of the guns. Officials said she paid about $350 for each gun.

Phone records show one of the phone numbers used by "Sonny" to communicate with Prevot was registered to Murray at the time. There were 159 contacts between the numbers from Sept. 30 to Nov. 28, police said.

Yalanda Hardrick

Hardrick, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports store in Warren Nov. 4 and bought four firearms -- two Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9 mm handguns and two Smith & Wesson SD40VE .40-caliber handguns, according to authorities.

Hardrick went to a Recoil Firearms gun shop Dec. 12 and bought a Taurus G2C 9 mm handgun and a Ruger Security-9 9 mm handgun with cash, officials said.

A Recoil Firearms employee told the special agent that Hardrick spoke to someone on the phone while inside the store. The employee said Hardrick told the man on the phone that she was finishing up and would be outside soon, officials said.

The special agent said this information leads him to believe someone was waiting for Hardrick in the parking lot.

Surveillance video from Recoil Firearms shows Hardrick walking out of the store Dec. 12 and getting into a silver Chevrolet Malibu, officials said. She got in the passenger side and left the parking lot in the car, the special agent said.

During the Jan. 11 search of Murray's house, agents found empty pistol boxes for Ruger and Taurus handguns, according to authorities. Both boxes had firearm serial numbers that matched the guns purchased by Hardrick, police said.

The special agent interviewed Hardrick on Jan. 17. She said she bought the guns for a man fitting Murray's description.

Hardrick said the man picked her up in October to buy guns. She said there was another woman in the car who bought guns on the same day.

Hardrick said she was paid about $200 for each purchase and left the guns with Murray.

Phone records show Hardrick was calling a phone number registered to Murray around the time of the purchases, officials said.

She was also communicating with a number that belonged to May while inside Recoil Firearms, according to authorities. The special agent said that indicates May was the other woman who purchased guns Dec. 12.

There were 27 contacts between Hardrick's number and a number belonging to Murray between Sept. 30 and Nov. 28, police said.

Tiffany Simmons

Simmons, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports store in Farmington Hills on Oct. 12 to buy a Taurus G2C handgun and a Ruger Security-9 handgun, according to officials.

On Oct. 17, Simmons went to the Dunham's Sports in Warren and bought two Ruger EC9S handguns, officials said.

Murray had more than 240 contacts with Simmons while he was incarcerated at the Michigan Department of Corrections from December 2014 and February 2017, authorities said.

He listed Simmons ans his significant other, records show.

Simmons is also the registered owner of a silver 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, police said.

While surveilling Murray's home on Marlowe Street on Dec. 18, the special agent said he saw the Malibu pull up in front of the house. He said he saw Murray get out of the driver's seat, go into the address through the front door, come out three minutes later, get into the car and drive away.

A woman who looked like Simmons was in the passenger seat, the special agent said.

Candace Simmons

Candace Simmons, of Detroit, is the sister of Tiffany Simmons, police said.

Candace Simmons went to the Dunham's Sports in Farmington Hills on Oct. 12 and bought a Taurus G2C handgun from the same employee as her sister, officials said.

Candace Simmons went to Recoil Firearms in Taylor on Oct. 20 and bought a Ruger LCPII .380-caliber handgun and a Smith & Wesson SD40VE .40-caliber handgun, according to authorities.

During the March 21 search of the Ontario storage unit, Peel Regional Police Service officials found the Smith & Wesson SD40VE handgun purchased by Candace Simmons, authorities said.

Phone records show 14 contacts between Candace Simmons and Murray from Sept. 30 to Nov. 28, officials said.

Tywana Murray

Tywana Murray, of Detroit, went to the Dunham's Sports in Farmington Hills on Oct. 18 and bought a Ruger EC9S 9 mm handgun and a Smith & Wesson SD40VE .40-caliber handgun with cash, according to authorities.

Dunham's sales records contain a note that Tywana Murray called a couple of days after her purchase to report the guns stolen. There is no record of the firearms being reported stolen to Detroit police, according to the special agent.

The sales receipt, gun safety form, price tags and copies of the Michigan State Police RI-060 pistol sales records for the two handguns were found at Ruemondo Murray's house during the Jan. 11 search, police said.

Tywana Murray told the special agent during a Feb. 14 interview that she bought the guns for herself and didn't know why the paperwork was at Ruemondo Murray's house, police said.

She said the guns had been stolen shortly after the purchase, the special agent said.

She also referred to one gun as a "Smith and Wilson," according to authorities.

ATF forms

Anyone who buys a gun must fill out a federal "Firearms Transaction Record" form, which includes a question that asked if the individual is the "actual transferee/buyer."

The question warns that, "You are not the actual transferee/buyer if you are acquiring the firearm on behalf of another person."

Federal law states that gun purchasers can't buy firearms for someone else, with a few exceptions. Doing so is considered a straw purchase, officials said.

On all of the ATF forms filled out by the seven women, they indicated that they were they actual transferees/buyers, according to the special agent.

Blanchard, May, Prevot and Hardrick admitted they bought multiple handguns over a short time for another person, the agent said. He believes Ruemondo Murray directed them to make the purchases and provided the money.

Descriptions provided by Blanchard, May, Prevot and Mardrick match the appearance of Ruemondo Murray, the agent said.

Tiffany Simmons, Candace Simmons and Tywana Murray have past associations with Ruemondo Murray, according to authorities.

"Based on my training and experience and daily interaction with the firearms trade, none of the firearms purchased by these women have any collector's value," the agent said in a criminal complaint. "In fact, all of the firearms purchased are among the most commonly recovered guns from crimes in the Detroit area."

He said none of the guns were registered with the state of Michigan, which is required by law.

Charges

All seven women are charged with false statement during the purchase of a firearm, aiding and abetting and conspiracy.

Ruemondo Murray is charged with aiding and abetting, conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

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