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Press Release

Trenton man pleads guilty to aiding illegal purchase of firearms connected to the killing of Dayton DEA task force officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

DAYTON – Arland Mills, 42, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to hiring a man to illegally purchase firearms for him.


As part of his scheme, Mills obtained multiple firearms, three of which were later recovered during the execution of a search warrant on Ruskin Road in Dayton where Dayton Police Detective and DEA Task Force Officer Jorge Del Rio was shot on Nov. 4, 2019.


Delano Wells, 50, of Trenton, purchased the firearms at a licensed firearms dealer in Middletown on behalf of Mills. Wells was charged by criminal complaint on Nov. 5, 2019, with making false statements on a federal firearms form. Wells lied on ATF Form 4473 by indicating “yes” he was purchasing the firearm for himself and not for anyone else.

Once Wells purchased the firearms, he would provide them to Mills. Mills then either paid Wells a stipend in addition to the cost of the gun, or he forgave a portion of the debt owed to him by Wells.

Wells purchased more than eight firearms in this manner on behalf of Mills, along with several firearm lower receivers.

Mills will be forfeiting 28 firearms, which were seized by the government from Mills as part of this case.

Aiding and abetting the making of a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.


David M. DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Roland Herndon, 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 Amy M. Smith and Andrew J. Hunt are representing the United States in this case.


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Updated November 3, 2020

Firearms Offenses