Berks men among suspects charged in gun-trafficking ring

Berks men among suspects charged in...

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - A gun trafficking ring operating in Montgomery County has been busted, and two of the suspects are from Berks County.

Six men have been apprehended; a woman remains on the loose. The suspects stand accused of buying guns and selling them to people who weren't allowed to have them, also known as straw purchases.

"If you are unfamiliar with straw purchases, when a person who's allowed to purchase weapons does and what they do is turn it over to a drug dealer or somebody else and that gun then makes its way to the street unidentifiable," said Chief Richard Drumheller, Pottstown Police Department, one of the departments involved in the roundup.

Police said Michael Hill of Lower Pottsgrove Township was the ring leader. He was charged with corrupt organizations and the illegal transfer of firearms, among other things.

Two of the men involved in the ring are from Berks County. Authorities identified them as Andrew Person of Reading and Chad Hill of Birdsboro, who is just 18 years old.

Authorities said 13 guns, including semi-automatic weapons and handguns, were directly connected to members of the ring.

Drumheller said operations like this are dangerous for any community.

"What happens is that gun finds its way to your community, and that's when you start getting shootings," he said.

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