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Thornton man convicted of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a sawed-off shotgun

March 7, 2012

DENVER – Tito Ontiveros, age 34, of Thornton, Colorado was found guilty today by a jury of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of an unregistered firearm U.S. Attorney John Walsh and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson announced. The jury trial was before U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer and lasted two days. The jury deliberated for approximately 5 hours before reaching their guilty verdicts. Ontiveros is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Brimmer on June 15, 2012.

According to the indictment, on April 26, 2011 Ontiveros, who had previously been convicted of a felony, did unlawfully possess a firearm and ammunition in and affecting interstate commerce. It is a violation of federal law for a felon to possess a firearm. Further, on that same date, the defendant did unlawfully possess a .410 gauge sawed-off shotgun. It is a violation of federal law to possess a sawed-off shotgun, unless it is registered with the ATF’s National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

“This swift verdict from a federal jury sends a powerful message: Felons in possession of firearms, and particularly in possession of illegal firearms like sawed-off shotguns will face serious time in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

“Keeping illegal firearms out of the hands of convicted felons will remain a top priority,” said Marvin Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Denver Field Division. “ATF will continue to target those individuals who blatantly disregard the law and threaten the safety of our communities.”

Ontiveros faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also faces 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine for possession of the sawed-off shotgun. If the defendant has three prior qualifying felony convictions he will face not less than 15 years, and not more than life imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Thornton Police Department and the ATF.

Ontiveros was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dave Conner and Ryan Bergsieker.


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