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Press Release

Maple Heights man sentenced to 15 years in prison for firearms conviction

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

A Maple Heights man was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for illegally possessing firearms and counterfeit currency, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Donald Soranno, Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Columbus Field Division.

Daunte Byrd, 29, was sentenced to 182 months in prison after previously being found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of counterfeit currency.

Byrd was arrested in October 2014 and found to have $5,850 in counterfeit currency and a loaded 9 mm handgun. Byrd was prohibited from having firearms or ammunition because of multiple felony convictions, including several convictions involving violence and a firearm.

Byrd was convicted as part of Operation Samson II, an enhanced enforcement initiative targeting the criminal possession, use and sale of firearms in Greater Cleveland. The summer-long initiative organized around three operational groups.  The first used undercover operations to investigate people known to criminally possess, use and sell firearms, as well as people possessing firearms while conducting drug activities. The second group  used firearms trace data and ballistics information from the National Ballistics Information Network to pursue leads related to firearms that have been diverted from legal commerce to criminal use. The third group involved ATF Industry Operations conducting inspections at Cleveland-area federal firearms licensees to ensure that dealers are selling firearms in accordance with federal law and regulations.

Byrd told a confidential information in August 2014 that he could obtain and sell firearms, as well as grenades. Byrd also expressed interest in the robbery of a drug stash house. He also discussed selling fraudulent heroin and counterfeit currency, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly L. Galvin following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cleveland Division of Police.


Updated September 14, 2015

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