Cincinnati man pleads guilty to leading firearms conspiracy involving 56 guns purchased online with stolen credit cards
COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman announced today a new initiative in which federal and local prosecutors are working with law enforcement and domestic violence victim services agencies to hold accountable domestic abusers who illegally possess firearms.
As part of the initiative, U.S. Attorney Glassman, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced three cases indicted federally today. The cases charge three men with illegally possessing a firearm and/or ammunition after being convicted of domestic violence-related crimes.
A federal grand jury today charged Eldon G. Draper, 45, Stephon A. Moore, 30, and Brandon N. Zachariah, 26, all of Columbus, with possessing firearms and/or ammunition after being convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and felony crimes in separate indictments returned here today.
According to court documents, on April 13, Draper possessed a Smith & Wesson .38 special firearm and five rounds of ammunition. He was previously convicted in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of misdemeanor domestic violence and felonious assault, aggravated assault, arson, four offenses of aggravated arson, receipt of stolen property and theft.
Moore allegedly possessed a 9mm firearm and 16 rounds of ammunition on May 13. He was previously convicted in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of misdemeanor domestic violence and felonious assault and attempted robbery.
According to Zachariah’s indictment and police reports, on March 20, he possessed a pistol and 22 rounds of ammunition. Zachariah was previously convicted in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of felonious assault.
Possessing a firearm or ammunition as a convicted felon is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes or have an active domestic violence protection order are prohibited from possessing a firearm.
This initiative is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Moore’s case included investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
U.S. Attorney Glassman announced the domestic violence program as part of the Southern District of Ohio’s ongoing commitment to protecting people from intimate partner violence and strengthening the capacity of law enforcement and communities to respond to domestic violence.
The initiative is being implemented with the aim of enhancing collaborations among law enforcement agencies and domestic violence victim services providers, as well as identifying and prosecuting domestic violence abusers who possess guns.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of the three cases indicted today by ATF and the Columbus Division of Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan J.C. Grey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Tobias with City Attorney Klein’s office, who are prosecuting the cases. U.S. Attorney Glassman also commended the partnership of Lutheran Social Services CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence, the Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Capital University’s Family Law Clinic.
Indictments merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.
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