News and Press Releases

THREE CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY SELLING FIREARMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 01, 2012
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohs
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury here has charged Juan A. Mack, 36, of Cincinnati with illegally selling firearms. An accomplice, Herbert Dragon, 33, has been indicted for illegally buying five handguns and transferring them to Mack for re-sale, a process known as “straw purchasing.”

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Stephanie R. Shoemaker, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Columbus Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig announced the indictment today.

The indictment alleges that between April 25, 2012 and June 18, 2012, Mack sold 16 firearms for cash during eight separate transactions. Mack does not have a federal firearms license. Mack is also prohibited under federal law from owning or possessing firearms because he has a prior felony conviction.

Mack is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, punishable by up to ten years in prison, and one count of unlicensed dealing in firearms. That crime is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

The indictment charges Dragon with one count of making a false statement during multiple purchases of firearms during this same time period, which is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release. Mack allegedly used Dragon to buy the handguns from a gun shop in Fairfield. Dragon indicated on the ATF forms he signed when he bought the guns that he was not acquiring the firearms on behalf of any other person. 

VCET Task Force officers and the Cincinnati Police Department’s Fugitive Unit arrested Mack and Dragon without incident on July 30, 2012.

In a separate indictment, a federal grand jury charged Paul Mitchell, 29, of Cincinnati with illegally selling firearms, distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, to wit: cocaine base, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.   Mitchell is prohibited under federal law from owning or possessing firearms, because he has a prior felony conviction. The grand jury alleges that Mitchell illegally sold three firearms as well as possessed a firearm in March 2012 during crack cocaine transactions.

Mitchell is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, punishable by up to ten years in prison, one count of unlicensed dealing in firearms punishable by up to five years in prison, and distribution of a schedule II controlled substance punishable five to forty years in prison and a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.

On July 30, 2012, Mitchell was arrested by members of the VCET Task Force and the Cincinnati Police Department’s Fugitive Unit without incident.

All three men appeared before Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman on Tuesday, who ordered Mack and Mitchell held without bond pending a detention hearing Thursday.  Dragon was released on bond and will be arraigned Thursday.

On July 30, 2012, Mitchell was arrested by members of the VCET Task Force and the Cincinnati Police Department’s Fugitive Unit without incident.

These cases are the direct result of continuous and ongoing efforts by the Cincinnati Violent Crime Enforcement Team (VCET), a task force of ATF agents, Cincinnati police officers, and a parole officer from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Adult Parole Authority (APA).  The VCET Task Force’s primary mission is to reduce gun violence in Cincinnati by proactively investigating illegal firearms traffickers as well as the “worst of the worst” of offenders illegally possessing firearms in the community.

Carter commended these task force investigations, along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Deering from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters’ office, who is prosecuting the case against Mack and Dragon, and Special Assistant Gregory Stephens from Butler County Prosecutor Michael T. Gmoser’s office, who is prosecuting the case against Mitchell.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

 

 

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