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Press Release

Jennings County man illegally purchased 21 firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana
Komsi lied about pending felony charge on federal firearms purchase forms

New Albany – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today, Wayne Komsi III, 58, of North Vernon, Ind., was convicted on two counts of making a false statement during the purchase of firearm, following a two-day jury trial, in the federal court, in New Albany, Ind., before U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to reducing gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are prohibited from possessing firearms,” said Minkler. “If you choose to lie and buy firearms, you will be prosecuted fully under federal law.”

On December 13, 2017, Komsi pleaded guilty to a felony in Jennings County, Ind. As a term of his Jennings County felony plea, Komsi was prohibited from possessing firearms. Although he had a pending felony out of Jennings County, Komsi attended an auction on March 3, 2018, where he purchased 21 firearms. In order to get those 21 firearms transferred into his possession, Komsi falsely indicated on three Firearms Transaction Records, March 6, March 20, and April 3, 2018, that he was not prohibited from possessing firearms. At the time he filled out each form, Komsi was, in fact, prohibited from possessing firearms because of the felony charge of resisting law enforcement. Additionally, Komsi fraudulently filled out a Firearms Transaction Record on May 26, 2018 in an attempt to purchase an additional firearm. 

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case with support from our Project Guardian partner: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

For more information about Project Guardian, please see:

“ATF is committed to combating gun violence in our communities and ensuring that firearms do not end up in the hands of those people who are prohibited from possessing them,” said Jonathan McPherson, ATF Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to reduce violent gun-related crimes and make our communities safer.”

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle P. Brady and Lindsay E. Karwoski, who are prosecuting this case for the government, Komsi faces a sentence of up to 5 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to targeting the District’s most violent geographic areas for the adoption of reactive federal drug and firearm prosecutions. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 2.2.


Updated January 27, 2020