GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man who trafficked the gun that was used in the homicide of a 2-year-old in Wyoming has been sentenced.

Jerreil LaMounta Martin was sentenced Monday to 37 months in prison for illegally purchasing and trafficking at least 45 guns, including some that were later used in crimes around the state. U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker also imposed three years of supervised release.

“Martin would purchase these guns for the purpose of selling them to people who were prohibited by law from otherwise purchasing or possessing guns. Most, if not all, of these people were prohibited because they’re convicted felons,” U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said in a virtual news conference Monday morning. “This tactic is sometimes known as ‘straw purchasing.'”

Federal prosecutors say Martin said the guns were for his own use when he bought them even though he was buying them for other people. They say Martin also knew some of his customers were reselling the guns. He charged between $50 and $100 per gun.

“You’ll give me the cash before I go in the store,” Martin explained to one prospective customer via text, Totten showed reporters in the news conference. “I’ll go in there for you grab the gun do all the paperwork then once everything is done just give me $100.”

The feds released a photo of Martin trying to ‘straw purchase’ a pistol in July 2022. At the time, Totten said, he had already been told that one of the trafficked guns had been used in a homicide.

Jerreil Martin purchasing a gun in July 2022. (Courtesy U.S. Department of Justice)

That was after the Feb. 9, 2022, death of 2-year-old Khalise Brewer in the city of Wyoming. Khalise’s father Seninta Parks was charged with her murder. Federal investigators say Martin bought the Ruger 5.7 x 28 mm semi-automatic pistol Parks used.

Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Detroit, called Martin a “textbook firearms trafficker.”

“Multiple purchases of firearms, multiple recoveries across the state of Michigan, multiple cases where the guns were either used in violent crimes or recovered at crime scenes, and this did not deter him,” Kailimai said. “He took no accountability for his actions and the fact that he was putting firearms in the hands of individuals who were prohibited from possessing them and then ultimately used them in violent acts against other citizens.”

In all, police have found 14 of the guns, saying they were used to commit crimes in Genesee, Kent and Isabella counties.

Investigators say a Glock .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol Martin bought was used in a shooting on the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids on Sept. 11, 2022. Four people were hurt.

Martin also bought a Glock 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that was used in three separate drive-by shootings in Grand Rapids.

In and around the Flint area, one of the guns Martin bought was used in a drive-by that injured an 11-year-old. Another was used in a homicide. Central Michigan University police found another of the guns as they investigated a number of vehicle break-ins.

But most of the guns Martin trafficked, Totten said, are still out there.

Totten said that in the last three years, there has been a “significant rise” in firearm-related deaths, calling that rise “especially steep” among children, women and people of color. Last year, for the first time, gun violence became the No. 1 cause of death for people ages 1 to 19.

“This case sheds some light on what’s happening,” Totten said. “Taken together, these stories give a glimpse into how illegal gun trafficking is fueling the rise of violence in cities across Michigan.”

He had a warning for other straw buyers:

“We will find you and we will hold you accountable,” he promised. “These are not victimless crimes. As the stories I’ve hared today show, these crimes have life-shattering consequences.”