WASHINGTON - A D.C. man is facing felony gun charges after the FBI says it discovered he was running a virtual gun store on social media.
According to court documents, the FBI began investigating Allan James after getting a tip he was selling assault rifles, semi-automatic handguns and extended clips on his Facebook page.
The FBI says a search of the page turned up videos as well as numerous conversations the convicted felon was having with other Facebook users about guns and ammunition for sale.
The FBI says it began investigating a little over a year ago. According to a search warrant affidavit, the “Made Mane Yusef" Facebook page belongs to James. As the FBI took a closer look, agents found videos such as one showing several handguns with text on the screen reading, "Back on dat action” along with gun emojis.
In one video, the FBI says James apparently recorded himself in possession of a handgun.
But it was the conversations the FBI says James was having that really showed what he was up to. In one comment, James wrote, “back frm Bmore omw to se I got a Mac I'm tryna get two hand joints.”
According to the affidavit, the FBI says James was referring to a MAC-10 machine pistol and a “joint” is slang for gun.
In another conversation, a Facebook user asked James if he had some “40 eggs.” James responded, "Nope told you I need to re-up going today or tomorrow Walmart in va." The FBI says “eggs” is slang for bullets.
James was so casual about his sales on Facebook, his mother even scolded him by saying, "Really Allan that video. Wow. When are you going to get it. Everybody know you strapped. You have to broadcast it.”
“It's very disturbing. The problem that we have with violence crime in the city, I have said it over and over again, is illegal firearms,” said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. “If somebody is purchasing a firearm through the internet, it’s just as disturbing to me if somebody was to pull up and sell a gun out of the trunk of their car.”
Newsham said his detectives do keep an eye on social media, especially for people like James.
“We do a pretty good job, our intelligence unit, of kind of scanning all of the social media sites,” said Newsham. “We have made a number of cases where we see images of people holding firearms. These are extremely difficult cases to make, but that brazenness, we have a response to that. I’m hopeful and I will reiterate this – if somebody sees something like that, please forward it to our investigators so we can take a look at it.”
Several months after the FBI began investigating James, he was arrested by D.C. police in July after officers found him with a handgun in Southeast D.C.
He is now locked up and faces a court hearing in November.
The court affidavit also provides some insight into illegal gun sales in the District. In some online posts, James seems willing to trade for weapons. While in others, he asks for around $500 to $600 per gun.