For Immediate Release
20 More Individuals Charged Federally as Part of Cincinnati Gun Violence Reduction Initiative
Law Enforcement Offers Reward, Seeks Information about One Fugitive
CINCINNATI – Nineteen Cincinnati men and one woman were charged federally in a second wave of cases related to reducing local gun violence. Six of the defendants were arrested late last week and over the weekend, and 13 were already in state custody. One defendant remains a fugitive.
U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, ATF Special Agent in Charge Roland Herndon, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil announced the cases as the latest enforcement as part of a gun violence reduction initiative. In late September, the officials announced gun-related charges filed against 16 other individuals in Cincinnati.
The aim of the initiative is to identify repeat and dangerous offenders for federal prosecution.
“Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you fall into one of nine prohibited categories, including being a felon, convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or under a court authorized restraining order. These crimes can be punished by up to 10 years in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers. “It is our hope that concentrating on this sector of the criminal population will have an impact on reducing the unprecedented level of violence occurring in Cincinnati.”
Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. Defendants convicted of these crimes face a mandatory minimum of five years and up to life in prison.
“ATF’s primary mission is to identify individuals who are harming our communities through acts of violence,” stated Roland Herndon, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “These indictments are just one phase of these efforts. Be aware, if you choose to use firearms to commit crimes, ATF and our law enforcement partners will be there as always, working to hold you accountable for those acts.”
“These indictments are an example of our continued effort to work with our Federal partners to hold people accountable for harming our community through gun violence,” said Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac.
Nineteen of the defendants are charged with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Darrel Berry is charged only with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and Antonio Thomas is charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime in addition to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
Jennings, Klopp, Mathews, Sullivan, Thomas and White were arrested in the past four days.
Crawford remains a fugitive. His criminal history includes involuntary manslaughter, aggravated armed robbery and aggravated robbery, domestic violence and drug trafficking.
Law enforcement officials ask the public to call 1-888-ATF-TIPS with any information regarding Crawford’s whereabouts. The ATF is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of Crawford.
Indictments and criminal complaints merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.