ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

August 18, 2009

David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney

Contact: Patrick Crosby

(404) 581-6016

(404) 581-6160 (fax)

Three Indicted For Theft Of 40 Firearms From Store

Father and Son Make Their First Court Appearance

Gainesville, GA — LONNY GRAVITT, 41, his son, LINDSAY GRAVITT, 22, and JOSEPH TANTURRI, 24, all of Cartersville, Georgia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to the theft of 40 weapons from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Jasper, Georgia. LONNY GRAVITT and LINDSEY GRAVITT were arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Susan S. Cole in Gainesville. TANTURRI is currently in state custody and is expected to be arraigned at a later time not yet set by the Court.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “Two of these defendants allegedly burglarized the Bargain Barn in the middle of the night and stole 40 guns. The ATF and local law enforcement officers have recovered a number of the stolen weapons and continue to work diligently on the case. But many of the firearms have not yet been recovered, which means that some of the stolen guns may be on the streets, creating a potentially dangerous situation for our community. If convicted, these defendants will face significant time in federal prison.”

Special Agent in Charge Gregory Gant of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Atlanta Field Division, said of the case, “The reduction of gun violence remains one of ATF’s highest investigative priorities. Gun thieves play a critical and deadly role in the chain of violence and ATF places a major emphasis on solving these crimes.

Investigative experience has shown that felons, gang members and juveniles are some of the most common customers for stolen guns in the underground economy of our streets. When guns fall into the wrong hands, the potential for their criminal misuse is great. The public should expect nothing less than an aggressive, productive effort that leads to the identification and prosecution of criminals who target businesses that sell firearms.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias, the charges and other information presented in court: On November 8, 2008, at approximately 3:34 a.m. the monitored alarm system at the “Bargain Barn,” 3622 Camp Road, Jasper, Georgia, alerted to a break-in. The surveillance video revealed that three masked individuals entered the store. The three individuals immediately proceeded to several gun counters, smashed the glass cases and took approximately 40 firearms.

The three defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 4, 2009. According to the indictment, LINDSAY GRAVITT and JOE TANTURRI are charged with the theft of 40 firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer, the Bargain Barn. All three defendants—LINDSAY GRAVITT, JOE TANTURRI, and LONNY GRAVITT—are charged with the receipt, possession, concealment, storage, and disposal of the stolen firearms from the Bargain Barn. LONNY GRAVITT is also charged with possession of sawed-off shotgun.

JOE TANTURRI is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The investigation in this case continues. Anyone with information about the theft or the location of the stolen firearms is asked to call the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS.

The charges against LINDSAY GRAVITT carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The charges against LONNY GRAVITT carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. The charges against JOSEPH TANTURRI carry a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants' guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistance in this case has been provided by the Bartow County Sheriff's Department, the Acworth Police Department, and the Jasper Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Angela M. Jordan is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-meus), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

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