Lorain man indicted following seizure of 40 firearms
A Lorain man was indicted today on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms after he was found with 40 handguns and rifles, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Jose Romero, age 32, was found to have 40 pistols, rifles and revolvers despite having a 2005 conviction in Lorain County for domestic violence, according to the indictment.
“This office places a high priority on keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are forbidden by law from obtaining them,” Dettelbach said. “Whether it is a person using a gun to commit a violent crime, a felon illegally obtaining a firearm or a straw purchaser trying to circumvent the law, we will aggressively pursue those who would violate our nation’s firearms laws.”
Romero told a confidential informant that he was interested in purchasing large numbers of firearms in an effort to influence their availability in Lorain, according to court documents.
The information indicated that Romero stores many of his firearms inside a safe inside his grandmother’s residence on Charleston Avenue in Lorain. Law enforcement officers subsequently searched Romero’s home on East 31st Street and the Charleston Avenue home on Feb. 26, 2013, according to court documents.
Investigators found firearms, marijuana and cocaine at the East 31st Street residence and a safe with 28 firearms at the Charleston Avenue residence, as well as marijuana, according to the court documents.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal record, the defendants’ roles in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum.
This case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Robert F. Corts following an investigation by the Lorain Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Lorain County Drug Task Force and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilty. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.