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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 19, 2021

Rogers man charged with illegal possession of 27 firearms, explosive device and bald eagle

A federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland handed down a six-count superseding indictment charging Theodore Lutton, age 60, and Christine Lutton, 63, both of Rogers, Ohio, with various violations after law enforcement investigators search their property in October of 2020. Investigators found Theodore Lutton illegally in possession of 27 firearms, an explosive device and a deceased bald eagle, a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The indictment charges Theodore Lutton with felon in possession firearms, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, possession of  a destructive device and unlawful possession of a bald eagle. Christine Lutton is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a red-tailed hawk.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on October 30, 2020, FBI agents executed a search warrant on the person of Theodore Lutton and his residence in Rogers, Ohio. Inside the home, investigators state that they located approximately 20 firearms, blasting caps for initiating an explosive device, a hand grenade, three ballistic Kevlar vests, a dead bald eagle and an improvised explosive device with screws taped to the exterior. Theodore Lutton is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior felony conviction for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Theodore Lutton was not present at the residence at the time of the search and investigators spoke to his wife, Christine Lutton. It is alleged in the indictment that Christine Lutton was unlawfully in possession of a deceased, frozen red-tailed hawk without a permit, a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Law enforcement located Theodore Lutton and arrested him at another residence in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Investigators searched the second residence and found an additional two rifles and a handgun. In total, law enforcement seized 27 firearms alleged to have been unlawfully in the possession of Theodore Lutton.

As a result of these offenses, Lutton must forfeit any and all firearms and ammunition involved in or used in the commission of these offenses.

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 the indictment was conducted by the FBI and Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Beeson.

Topic(s): 
Wildlife
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Daniel Ball Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov
Updated February 22, 2021