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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 16, 2018

Nine people indicted for firearms crimes

Nine people were indicted in federal court for firearms crimes.

Indicted are: Elijah Frink, 26, of Akron; Darnell Ingram, 23, of Cleveland; Timothy Hughart, 28, of Ashtabula; John L. Brooks, 40, of Akron; Jesse J. Kinder, 35, of Rittman; Vernon T. Coleman, 31, of Sandusky; Victor Henry Austin, 29, of Lima, Richard Rowald, 70, of Findlay, and Steven J. Robison, 35, of Findlay.

Frink was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. Frink on May 10 had nine rounds of ammunition despite a prior conviction for robbery, according to the indictment.   

Ingram was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. He had a Glock .40-caliber firearm and ammunition on May 23 despite a prior conviction for aggravated robbery, according to the indictment.

Hughart is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He possessed a Taurus 9 mm pistol and ammunition on March 23, despite a previous conviction for burglary, according to the indictment.   

Brooks is charged with providing false information in the acquisition of firearms. Brooks purchased a dozen firearms from three sellers at an Akron-area gun show by knowingly making false and fictitious written statements, which statements were intended and likely to deceive the sellers, in that he represented that he was the actual buyer of the firearms when in fact he was not. This took place on March 18 and 19, 2017, according to the indictment.

Kinder is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of methamphetamine. Kinder on Feb. 21 possessed a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol and ammunition despite multiple previous convictions for heroin trafficking and other crimes. Kinder also distributed methamphetamine on at least three occasions, according to the indictment.

Coleman is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He possessed a Taurus .380-caliber pistol, a Davis .32-caliber pistol and a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistol on March 30 despite previous convicitions for attempted felonious assault and other crimes, according to the indictment.

Austin is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He possessed a Taurus 9 mm pistol on April 10 despite previous convictions for robbery, drug trafficking and other crimes, according to the indictment.

Rowold was charged with making a false statement during the acquisition of firearms and being a felon in possession of a  firearm, and Robison was charged with making a false statement during the acquisition of firearms.

Robison on Feb. 12 falsely stated he was the purchaser of 50 AM-15 lower receivers, when, in fact, Rowold was the actual purchaser. Rowold was prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions, according to the indictment.

These cases are being prosecuted as part of “Project Safe Neighborhoods,” a gun violence reduction program administered by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio.  The program targets armed criminals for federal prosecution. 

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, the Sandusky Police Department, the Lima Police Department

They are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark S. Bennett, Danielle Angeli, David M. Toepfer, Teresa Riley, Thomas P. Weldon and Matthew Simko.

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.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin@usdoj.gov
Updated July 16, 2018