BOSTON (WWLP) – An Attleboro man who had been previously convicted of illegal gun possession was sentenced Thursday for trafficking guns from Georgia to Massachusetts.

According to a news release sent to 22News by the Department of Justice in Boston, Richard Phillippe, 42, of Attleboro was sentenced to 57 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. On December 17, 2021, Phillippe was convicted of transporting guns into Massachusetts from Georgia without a license and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Between April and June 2019, Philippe purchased dozens of handguns from a straw purchaser in Georgia. Philippe returned with the guns to a warehouse in Taunton where he sold them for cash. Philippe, who had a prior felony firearms conviction in Rhode Island, had neither the lawful ability to possess firearms or ammunition nor a federal license to deal in firearms.

The investigation arose following a July 2019 undercover buying of two guns from a long-time Brockton drug dealer, who had purchased those two guns and more than a dozen other guns from Philippe and had been selling them on the South Shore. The undercover operation triggered a search of Philippe’s warehouse in Taunton, which revealed Philippe’s gun trafficking. The guns were traced back to multiple purchases by Philippe’s straw purchaser from a pawn shop in Georgia specializing in selling cheap guns.

Several guns that Philippe transported and sold were found by police in the possession of criminals and drug dealers. One gun trafficked by Philippe was used by a gang member to fire at rival associates at the Braintree Mall but tragically struck an innocent 15-year-old girl twice, in the hand and in the chest. The victim survived.

Other guns were abandoned, such as one gun that was discovered in a pile of leaves at a parking lot in Taunton, loaded with 12 bullets. Another gun was found by cleaning staff in a hotel room in Brockton.