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Press Release

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Firearms and Ammunition following Standoff with US Marshals Fugitive Task Force

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

John Shear, age 38 of Cleveland, pled guilty to two separate federal indictments charging him with possessing ammunition and/or firearms as a felon.  Shear faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each indictment, and is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Donald C. Nugent on June 29, 2020, at 9:30am.

According to Shear's guilty plea and other court documents:

On January 30, 2018, Shear was arrested by Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA) officers for violating his parole conditions.  While conducting the arrest, APA officers found one round of 9mm ammunition in Shear's pocket.  Shear was prohibited from possessing ammunition or firearms due to multiple prior felony convictions, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, escape, burglary, felonious assault, and drug trafficking.

Several months later, Shear became a fugitive on multiple arrest warrants, including a warrant for aggravated vehicular assault in Cuyahoga County.  The United States Marshals Service Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force adopted the case and began looking for Shear.  On August 15, 2018, the Marshals Task Force received information that Shear was staying at a hotel room in Willoughby, Ohio.  The Marshals Task Force surrounded the hotel room and knocked on the door.  At first, there was no response.   But when the Marshals Task Force knocked a second time, Shear yelled, "don’t come in here because if you do I will shoot you and I have a hostage."  A negotiator made contact with Shear, and after a brief standoff, he agreed to surrender.  Shear and a female were the only two people inside the hotel room.

APA officers were called to the scene to help search the hotel room.  During a search of the hotel room, APA officers and the Marshals Task Force found three handguns, ammunition, a holster, a digital scale, marijuana, and crack pipes. 

The cases were investigated by the ATF, the United States Marshals Service Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.  The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James Lewis and Yasmine Makridis.



Bridget M. Brennan
(216) 622-3810

Updated March 12, 2020

Firearms Offenses