McSherrystown man sentenced to year behind bars for series of straw purchases

30 May 2024- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Donovyn Lee Smallwood, age 25, of McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on May 29, 2024, to 12 months and one day imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson following his conviction for straw purchasing four firearms for individuals who were prohibited from possessing firearms.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Smallwood previously pleaded guilty to these offenses, which involved Smallwood’s purchase of a total of four 9mm handguns on two separate occasions in September 2021 from a licensed firearms dealer. At the time of the purchases, Smallwood falsely stated that he was the actual purchaser. One of the firearms was subsequently used in a homicide and a separate carjacking.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Baltimore Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Williams prosecuted the case.