DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Justin E. Herdman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Mike Tobin

Eleven people from Canton Indicted for Firearms Violations, Including Firearms Trafficking and Illegal Sale of a Machine Gun

Eleven people from the Canton area were indicted in federal court for firearms violations, including firearms trafficking, illegal sale of a machine gun and drug charges, law enforcement officials said.

Indicted are: Rasheed Babb, 25; Shawntez Block, 25; Andre Bowers, 41; Ikasha Clark, 38; Darnell Curtis, 39; Kamari Kidd, 21; Tae’Vontae Miles, 22; Jesse Gulley, 44; Thomas Lorenz, 60; Arthur Keeney, 28, and Sean Foster, 33.

All the defendants live in Canton except Lorenz, who is from Dover, and Block, who is from Massillon.

Bowers was charged with illegally dealing firearms while Kidd and Miles were charged with assisting his firearms trafficking.

Bowers engaged in the unlicensed dealing of firearms between December 2016 and February 2017. Bowers’ previous convictions include aggravated assault, cocaine trafficking, domestic violence, escape and other crimes.

At various times he sold or possessed a Harrington & Richardson .32-caliber revolver, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Glock .40-caliber pistol, another Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin .22-caliber rifle, a Rossi 20-gauge shotgun and a Kel-Tec 5.56 mm pistol, according to the indictment.

Bowers also distributed heroin, according to the indictment.

Gulley, Clark and Lorenz were indicted for a transaction in July 2017 in which Lorenz transferred to Gulley and Clark a Heckler and Koch, 308-caliber machine gun, according to the indictment.

Gulley on July 25, 2017, possessed the aforementioned machine gun, ammunition and six other firearms, despite prior convictions for felonious assault and possession of cocaine. On the same day, Gulley and Clark possessed a sawed-off shotgun, according to the indictment.

“Cases like these are exercises in homicide prevention,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “These defendants have no business carrying firearms, given their previous criminal conduct. This operation has made Canton safer.”

“The value of these types of cases can be measured in human lives,” said Canton Police Chief Bruce Lawver. “These cases involve illegally possessed firearms in the hands of criminal. They demonstrate the cooperation that exists between the Canton Police Department and our federal law enforcement partners.”

“These arrests are just the next step in our work with our partners at the Canton Police Department and the FBI,” said Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division.  “We will continue to work together to make Canton and the surrounding communities safer by removing individuals who use violence to further their criminal activities from our streets.”

“These dangerous individuals will now be held accountable for their numerous criminal violations involving guns,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The FBI commends the collaborative work done by all agencies involved, especially the ATF and Canton Police Department.”

Keeney possessed a Hi-Point 9 mm pistol and nine rounds of 9 mm Winchester brand ammunition on Dec. 7, 2016, despite prior convictions for felonious assault and improper handling of a firearm in a mother vehicle, according to the indictment.

Foster possessed a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber pistol , a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol, a Fabrique Nationale .40-caliber pistol and 35 rounds of ammunition on Oct. 1, 2017, despite prior convictions for trafficking cocaine and possession of cocaine, according to the indictment.

Block possessed a Ruger 9mm pistol on Jan. 16, 2016, despite prior convictions for aggravated drug trafficking and endangering children, according to the indictment.

Curtis possessed a Remingon 12-gauge shotgun and a Harrington and Richardson 12-gauge shotgun on May 11, 2017, despite a prior conviction for aggravated robbery with a firearms specification, according to the indictment.

Babb possessed a Harrington and Richardson .32-caliber revolver on Oct. 19, 2017, despite a prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to the indictment.

Approximately 30 firearms were seized as part of the operation, along with ballistic vests, ammunition, heroin, fentanyl and cocaine.

These cases were investigated by the Canton Police Department, the ATF and the FBI, with assistance from the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron P. Howell and Henry F. DeBaggis.

If convicted, the sentence in this case will be determined by the Court after consideration of the federal sentencing guidelines, which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the unique characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

A charge is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Field Division: Columbus Field Division