HEROIN ADDICTS do dumb, desperate things to score their next fix.
Luke D'Ercole, 32, did something that was almost deadly, too: In exchange for heroin, he bought four guns for a 16-year-old who used one to shoot another man.
That man survived, but D'Ercole doomed himself to prison time in a case that authorities said shows the importance of cracking down on straw purchasers, people who illegally buy guns for those not permitted to buy guns themselves, including felons and juveniles.
"We must crush straw purchasers. We can't let them profit off the bloodshed," Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said in a news conference Thursday announcing D'Ercole's arrest. "We had 334 homicides in this city last year. Eighty-five percent of them were committed with handguns, and not one was a lawfully possessed handgun."