HomeSouth CarolinaGeorgia, California, and South Carolina residents arrested with 73 handguns get lengthy...

Georgia, California, and South Carolina residents arrested with 73 handguns get lengthy federal prison sentences

Marlon Michael Bruff from Georgia, Ramaro Alsworth Higgins of California, and Reuben Dunn of South Carolina were all handed federal prison sentences for their roles in a gun trafficking scheme that involved purchasing firearms across several southern states and smuggling them into Canada. Both Bruff and Higgins were found guilty of a separate charge related to conspiring to distribute marijuana. Additionally, four other individuals connected to the case have been convicted and sentenced.

According to the details provided by the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, evidence was presented that in June 2021, a Duncan Police Department officer pulled over a northbound Sprinter van on Interstate 85. A subsequent search uncovered suitcases filled with 73 handguns, 39 of which had their serial numbers removed. The van’s driver stated she was hauling personal protective equipment for APA Logistics, a company owned by Bruff, but it was later revealed to be a cover for illegal operations. Inside the van, police also found secret compartments holding marijuana. At the time of the stop, Bruff was in another vehicle nearby but was not immediately arrested.

During an extensive investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that spanned several years, authorities uncovered a network involving Marlon Michael Bruff, Ramaro Alsworth Higgins, Reuben Dunn, and others. This group was engaged in purchasing firearms in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina to illegally transport them into Canada. Many of these smuggled weapons were later linked to violent crimes in Canada. The group also imported marijuana from Canada, selling it in the U.S. to finance further gun purchases.

Bruff and Higgins played active roles in this operation, recruiting individuals to buy guns on their behalf and traveling across the U.S. to move both guns and marijuana. In May 2021, they were intercepted in North Carolina carrying over 20 pounds of marijuana and more than $37,000 in cash. Dunn contributed by sourcing firearms, which were then collected by other members of the ring from his residence in Anderson, South Carolina.

Read also: Columbia man wanted for last week’s murder denied bond, faces three charges

“South Carolina will play no part in illegal gun trafficking,” said Adair F. Boroughs, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. “Our office will continue to work to ensure the safety of our community and our neighbors.”

“Illegal firearms trafficking is a serious threat to communities everywhere,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “ATF and our law enforcement partners continue to make the prevention of illegal firearms sales a top priority. Stopping illegal firearms sales and disrupting gun trafficking networks plays a critical role in preventing violent gun crime and keeping neighborhoods safe.”

Read also: Mullins’ resident involved in a criminal spree with a murder suspect arrested on multiple charges

Georgia, California, and South Carolina residents were all handed federal prison sentences for their roles in a gun trafficking scheme
Credit: Unsplash

Lengthy federal prison sentences with no possibility of a parole

United States District Judge Donald C. Coggins sentenced Bruff to 120 months in prison, Higgins to 48 months in prison, and Dunn to 27 months in prison, with all of the sentences to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.



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