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Press Release

Trenton man sentenced to 5 years in prison for 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, 43, of Trenton, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 60 months in prison for hiring a man to illegally purchase firearms for him.


Mills pleaded guilty in federal court in November 2020. He admitted that 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.


“Decisions carry consequences, and here, the consequences of Mills’ illegal gun purchases and sales were dire,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel.


Delano Wells, 50, also 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. Wells was sentenced to six months of home detention and three years of supervised release.

As part of today’s conviction, Mills will forfeit the 28 firearms that the government seized in this case. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

Vipal J. Patel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Interim Dayton Police Chief Matt Carper; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); J. William Rivers, Special in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck, Jr. announced the sentence imposed today by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose. Assistant United States Attorney Amy M. Smith is representing the United States in this case.


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Updated September 30, 2021

Firearms Offenses