Maine Woman Accused of Buying 55 Guns for California Gangs
A Turner woman is facing charges after allegedly buying 55 guns in Maine and then providing them to people connected to gangs in California.
Who Was Arrested?
Jennifer Scruggs, 35, of Turner was arrested this week. She's been charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office with 10 counts of making a false statement while buying firearms from a licensed dealer. Each count carries a potential 10 year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.
What Led Police to Make the Connection Between Maine and California?
Court documents state that Scruggs allegedly bought the firearms from three different gun dealers in Turner, Auburn, and Whitefield. According to the Sun Journal, she told the dealers each time that she was buying the firearms for herself. By listing herself as the actual buyer, she was basically saying that she was not buying them for anyone else.
Los Angeles Police alerted federal authorities when one of the guns purchased by Scruggs was seized from an alleged gang member. The suspect had allegedly fired the gun in the air, calling out 'Crips,' allegedly referring to the Crips street gang. Officials traced the serial number on the weapon to J.T. Reid's Gun Shop in Turner, where it was allegedly purchased by Scruggs.
How Did the Guns Get Across the Country?
Once police began looking through her electronic communications, they allegedly found Facebook messages from people tied to the gang that detailed which weapons they wanted. In addition, there were allegedly instructions on how Scruggs was supposed to drive the guns from Maine to California and deliver them. Rental car records and license plate readers across the country allegedly show a rental vehicle containing Scruggs traveling between the two states.
After several interviews, officials say Scruggs admitted to her involvement in the plan.