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Justice News

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

Friday, July 31, 2020

Butler County man pleads guilty to lying on federal form for firearm later used in murder of DEA task force officer

DAYTON – A Butler County man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of the firearm used in killing Dayton Police Detective and DEA Task Force Officer Jorge DelRio on Nov. 4, 2019, during the execution of a search warrant on Ruskin Road in Dayton.


Delano Wells, 50, of Trenton, was charged by criminal complaint on Nov. 5, 2019, with making false statements on a federal firearms form.


According to court documents, three firearms were recovered from the scene on Ruskin Road on Nov. 4: two pistols with extended magazines and an AR-style weapon.


ATF was called to assist with tracing the three firearms and an urgent trace was requested for all three firearms recovered in the shooting.


Wells purchased all three firearms recovered from the scene, and at least six others in August and September 2019.


As part of his plea, Wells admitted that he purchased firearms on behalf of another individual, which had been selected by the other individual. Once Wells purchased the firearms, he would provide them to the other individual.


Wells lied on ATF Form 4473 by indicating “yes” he was purchasing the firearm for himself and not for anyone else. In reality, he purchased the firearms on behalf of another individual.


Wells faces up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30pm on November 13.


David M. DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Chris Hoffman, Special in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck, Jr. announced the plea entered into today before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew J. Hunt and Amy M. Smith are representing the United States in this case.


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Firearms Offenses
Updated July 31, 2020