Man charged for buying guns for teen drug dealer

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Northeast Philadelphia man is charged with the straw purchase of numerous guns for a 16-year-old accused drug dealer, who then allegedly used one of those guns to shoot another young man.

32-year-old Luke Dercole, of the 6400 block of Lawndale Avenue in Philadelphia, was arrested on Wednesday night. He is charged with Illegal Transfer, Firearm Not to be Carried with a License, Carrying Firearms on Public Streets, Possession of a Firearm by a Minor, Corruption of a Minor, Conspiracy, Unsworn Falsifications to Authorities and Tampering with Public Records for buying four guns for the teenager.

The teenager is identified as 16-year-old Michael Burak. Burak is facing Attempted Murder and other related charges after allegedly using one of the guns provided by Dercole to shoot 20-year-old Jonathan Espinoza on October 28, 2012 at a home on the 1200 block of Van Kirk Street in Philadelphia.

According to the Philadelphia Prosecutors Office, Dercole made four different gun purchases for Burak on four different occasions between October 17, 2012 and October 23, 2012.

A narcotics investigation in January led police to a home on Frankford Avenue where they discovered a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol. Police determined that the firearm was one of four bought by Luke Dercole in October of 2012, and that none of the firearms he had purchased were reported stolen or missing.

Police say that when investigators interviewed Dercole about the firearms, he admitted to buying the guns for Burak in exchange for packages of heroin.

According to police, Dercole explained how he exchanged the different guns because Burak was not happy with what was purchased.

Dercole is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

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