Two Baltimore County Men Charged in Case Involving the Straw Purchase of Firearms

More Than 100 Firearms Recovered from Convicted Felon

APRIL 24, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - A criminal complaint was filed yesterday charging John Frank Terranova, age 43, of Parkville, Maryland, with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and charging Jorge Luis Brown-Davila, age 44, also of Parkville, with making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, "People should be on notice that it is a crime to help a criminal get a gun or ammunition. Anyone who gives a gun or ammunition to a convicted felon or who makes false statements to help purchase such items at a gun shop is subject to federal criminal prosecution."

According to the criminal complaint, on August 18, 2007, two family members of Terranova reported to the Maryland State Police that Terranova had firearms that had been purchased for him by other people. Officers went to Terranova’s residence and while they were waiting for a search warrant, saw a 1978 Chevrolet van parked in the driveway of the residence and observed the barrels of firearms inside the vehicle, in plain view. Search warrants were obtained for the residence and for the vehicle on that day. Inside the residence, officers found two large gun safes in the basement containing gun lock keys, firearms papers, ammunition and other items. Terranova’s van was transported to Baltimore County Police headquarters and searched. Inside the vehicle, officers recovered more than 100 firearms, including rifles and handguns (revolvers and semiautomatic weapons), ammunition, magazines, a United States Marshal Service badge, and a Montgomery County Police officer’s badge.

While the officers were awaiting the arrival of a search warrant for the Terranova residence, they saw Terranova’s neighbor, Jorge Luis Brown-Davila, acting suspiciously near the residence, and officers approached him. Officers asked Brown-Davila to speak with them at the police station, and he agreed. During the subsequent interview, Brown-Davila told officers that he has purchased approximately 40 firearms with, and on behalf of Terranova, sometimes with his own money, but usually with money provided by Terranova, and specifically mentioned that he has purchased semi-automatic pistols, a .45 caliber handgun, a 9mm handgun, and a .38 caliber revolver for Terranova. Brown-Davila stated that to his knowledge, all of the weapons he had provided to Terranova were in Terranova’s van, but that didn’t know why the weapons were in the van.

Terranova faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Brown-Davila faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for making false statements in connection with making false statements to acquire firearms. The defendants had their initial appearances in federal district court yesterday.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Maryland State Police, the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and his office for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Michael C. Hanlon and John W. Sippel, Jr., who are prosecuting the case.



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