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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Four Toledo men accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that four men in the Toledo area were indicted on charges of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm. These defendants are all accused of knowingly making a false or fictitious statement intended to deceive a licensed firearms dealer as to the lawfulness of the transaction.

These are separate cases and are not related. In each case, the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a court-issued protection order or previous domestic violence conviction.

“Those who make false statements when attempting to purchase a firearm are usually attempting to conceal their criminal history or prohibited status for some nefarious reason,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “Statistics show that a firearm in the hands of someone prohibited from owning one is more likely to be used in a crime of violence.”

“The background check system exists to help prevent individuals with criminal histories from obtaining firearms,” stated Roland Herndon, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “That is the bottom line, if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm, you cannot purchase it. Lying on the background check has consequences, and if it is discovered that you lied on the form to purchase a firearm, you are subject to federal prosecution. It’s not worth it, don’t do it.”

Antonio Allen, age 28, of Toledo, was charged with one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. According to the indictment, the defendant is accused of failing to disclose that he was the subject of a protection order issued in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas while attempting to purchase a .22 caliber rifle from a licensed firearms dealer in Oregon, Ohio on January 24, 2020. As part of the court order, the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Jordan McGinnis, age 26, of Toledo, was charged with one count of a false statement made during the purchase of a firearm. The defendant is accused of failing to disclose that he had been convicted of a domestic violence offense when attempting to purchase a 9mm pistol from a licensed weapons dealer on July 30, 2020, in Swanton, Ohio. Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm.

Shaun Nelson, age 32, of Toledo, was charged with one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm while subject to a court order. According to court documents, the defendant is accused of failing to disclose that he was the subject of a protection order issued in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas while attempting to purchase a 9mm pistol from a licensed firearms dealer in Oregon, Ohio, on June 25, 2020. As part of the court order, the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The defendant completed the purchase of the firearm on July 10, 2020.

Andy Ross Thomas, age 35, of Toledo, was charged with one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. According to the indictment, the defendant is accused of failing to disclose that he was the subject of a protection order issued in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas while attempting to purchase a 9mm pistol from a licensed firearms dealer in Oregon, Ohio, on April 30, 2020. As part of the court order, the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding each indictment was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deyana Unis.

 

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Daniel Ball Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov
Updated November 25, 2020