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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Elyria man sentenced to nine years in prison, latest effort between Lorain County and federal law enforcement

An Elyria man was sentenced to more than nine years in prison for a firearms violation, said Acting U.S. States Attorney Carole S. Rendon and Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely.

Steve Hamilton, 24, was sentenced to 110 months for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hamilton pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a firearm as a felon, specifically a Heritage MFG “Rough Rider” .22 Caliber revolver. Hamilton had been previously convicted of multiple felony offenses which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm and ammunition, according to court documents.

Hamilton used the firearm and a knife to threaten his then-girlfriend in Elyria.  When Elyria police officers arrived at the scene, Hamilton did not immediately comply with their commands and ultimately the knife and the firearm were found concealed on him. Hamilton stated to the arresting officers that he “...should have shot it out with you guys”. Hamilton later said that he should have choked out the police officers and identified himself as a Heartless Felon and should have shot it out with the officers.  He continued and stated: "I’m a threat and you  . .  . better watch out when I get out . . . I’m going to shoot one of you in the head,” according to court documents 

This prosecution of a violent felon possessing a firearm is just one of multiple prosecutions the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio is engaged in with local Lorain County law enforcement. These prosecutions represent a coordinated effort on behalf of the federal and state partners to hold accountable these individuals who all have significant prior firearm and or drug charges and have continued to possess firearms and/or sell drugs in Lorain County.

Recent cases from Lorain County prosecuted in federal court include the following:

Jason Vasquez, 37 of Lorain, was indicted by the grand jury in a multiple count federal conspiracy indictment for the distribution of heroin in Lorain County. He was also charged with being in possession of a firearm and ammunition after being previously convicted of felony offenses which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm. Vasquez was out on bond from Lorain County Court of Common Pleas when he committed the new offense.  Vasquez was believed to be a major source of heroin and fentanyl in the Lorain County area. Vazquez has entered pleas of guilty and will be sentenced on May 27, 2016.  He is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison

Anetaeus Spencer, 33, of Lorain, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition and several firearms, namely: a Rohm Arms 7.62 x 39 mm. rifle, a Taurus “Judge” .45LC/410GA revolve, a Smith and Wesson pistol, a Keltec .380 handgun, and a Mossberg 12 gage shotgun. Spencer had been previously convicted of felony offenses which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm and ammunition. Spencer also sold quantities of crack and heroin, and had several thousand dollars on his person at the time of his arrest, according to court documents. Spencer was out on bond from Lorain County Court of Common Pleas when he committed the new offense. He has entered pleas of guilty and will be sentenced on June 2, 2016. He is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Calvin L. Williams, 32, of Elyria, was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a weapon, namely a Glock 9 mm. handgun.  Williams also has pending state drug cases and was previously convicted of felony offenses which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Williams was out on bond from Lorain County Court of Common Pleas at the time of the most recent offense. Williams has entered pleas of guilty and will be sentenced on June 2, 2016.  

Octavious Smith, 37, of Elyria, was indicted on one count of possessing a 9 mm. firearm and distributing quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in Lorain County.  Smith had been previously convicted of felony offenses which would prohibit him from possessing a firearm and ammunition. Smith was out on bond from Lorain County Court of Common Pleas when he committed the new offense. This case is pending

Each defendant had at least one previous felony conviction, rendering them ineligible to possess a firearm. 

In prior cases the United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted multiple Lorain County residents who ran afoul of gun and drug laws in cooperation with local law enforcement.

These previous cases include but are not limited to the following: 

Jeremy Mack, 38, of Elyria, human trafficking, drug crimes and obstruction of justice after forcing four females, including a 16-year-old girl, to have sex for money.  Mack was sentenced to life in prison. 

Siarres Noble, 29, of Elyria was sentenced to 20 years in prison for distributing heroin and fentanyl, including fentanyl that caused the death of an Elyria resident last year.  

Anthony Paul Montoy, 40, of Elyria and Fred Alston, 60, of Elyria were convicted of conspiracy to distribute kilograms of cocaine in the Lorain County area.  Montoy was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and Alston was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison.

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Updated April 28, 2016