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CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

COLUMBUS – Charles H. Morrison III, 25, of Columbus, Ohio and James Allen Banks, 23, of Marion, Ohio have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to burglarizing a gun store in Hebron, Ohioand stealing 18 guns on March 20, 2013.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Christopher J. Hyman, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Hebron Police Chief D. James Dean announced the pleas entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers. Morrison pleaded guilty today; Banks pleaded guilty Monday, September 23.

Each man pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of stolen firearms, crimes that are punishable by up to ten years in prison. Each man also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of three firearms with obliterated serial numbers and unlawful burglary of a licensed firearm dealer. Those two crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to court documents, Morrison and Banks went into Buckeye Outdoors in Hebron on March 20, 2013. Morrison attempted to hide in the ceiling, but left the store after an employee saw him. Morrison later broke the back glass door to gain entry to the store. ATF agents and Hebron police officers reviewed surveillance video and obtained search warrants for two residences used by Morrison and Bank’s residence. They recovered three of the firearms, ammunition, and tools that could be used to obliterate serial numbers on firearms.

ATF agents arrested both men on April 30, 2013. Both have been in custody since their arrests.

Judge Smith will set a date for sentencing following pre-sentence investigation conducted by the court.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by federal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Marous, who is prosecuting the case.


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