MEDIA >> Two women affiliated with the “Wheels of Soul” motorcycle club have been charged with the illegal purchase and transfer of firearms following an investigation into a report of a gunshot victim in Folcroft, Police Chief Bill Bair and District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced Thursday.
“There are 1,500 gun deaths in Pennsylvania per year, and this epidemic is fueled in part by straw purchasing,” said Stollsteimer in a release. “A straw purchase is when one individual purchases a firearm for someone who is legally prohibited from buying one. It is important for all Delaware County residents to know that straw purchasing is a serious crime with serious consequences and puts us all in danger.”
Folcroft Police Officer Tom Kesser responded to a report of a gunshot victim on the first block of King Avenue July 25, according to the release. The victim was identified as borough resident Gaynell Noel-Warren, 31.
Noel-Warren allegedly got into an altercation with another woman and drew a gun, only to shoot herself in the foot, according to the release. A search warrant was obtained, and a gun case was allegedly recovered from Noel-Warren’s residence.
The gun case had a serial number which was traced to a gun purchased by Leslie Ford, 26, of Philadelphia, in May 2020 from Targetmaster Gun Store in Chadds Ford, according to the release. Further investigation revealed that the gun had been reported stolen out of Philadelphia on June 26, the release states.
Ford allegedly admitted in an interview that she completed the paperwork to purchase the gun and then gave it to Noel-Warren for $100. Noel-Warren is a convicted felon who is prohibited from purchasing and possessing a firearm, according to the release.
The release notes both women are affiliated with the Wheels of Soul motorcycle club, which is considered an “outlaw” motorcycle club by law enforcement.
Ford is charged with the illegal transfer of firearms and providing false information. Noel-Warren is charged with illegal possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment. Both women are also charged with multiple conspiracy counts.
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“I want to commend the excellent work of the Officer Kesser and the Folcroft Police Department, as well as the contributions of Detective Dave Tyler of the Criminal Investigations Division,” said Stollsteimer. “This case also required support from the Philadelphia Police Department, which was much appreciated.”
The defendants were preliminarily arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Robert M. D’Agostino and remanded to the county prison in Concord in lieu of 10% of $75,000 bail. Neither was able to post bail and they were transferred to the county prison in Concord. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3 before Magisterial District Judge Wendy Roberts.