D.A.: Man forced woman in drug debt to pay him with gun purchase

guns
Rikard Larma/Metro.

A Wissinoming man was today sentenced to two to four years in prison and seven years of probation for forcing a woman with a drug debt to pay it back in gun purchases.

Investigators said 20-year-old Johnny Leach picked up 48-year-old Sophia Lawrence at her home on March 23, gave her $400 and drove her to a Northeast Philadelphia gun store.

Lawrence owed Leach money for drugs and agreed to purchase a 9mm handgun for him to pay off her debt, according to authorities.

Both participants went inside the store and Lawrence filled out paperwork certifying she was the gun’s “actual buyer.” Police said Leach was on juvenile probation at the time for a gunpoint robbery conviction.

When employees saw Leach and Lawrence together in the store, they thought something was suspicious about the purchase and contacted agents from the Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force.

Agents immediately arrived and set up surveillance at the gun shop. Investigators followed Leach as he drove Lawrence back to her home and observed him driving off with the gun still in his possession. He was stopped and arrested.

Leach pleaded guilty today to conspiracy by making false written statements and providing false information to obtain firearm ownership.

Lawrence pleaded guilty in September to firearm offenses and was sentenced to time served plus 23 months in prison and three years of probation.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.