For Immediate Release
Four Charged in Ohio-to-Canada Gun Smuggling Ring
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has charged four individuals with conspiring to illegally purchase firearms in an indictment returned here August 30 and unsealed today.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the charges.
Those charged include, Jeremy Hearn, 40, and Marcedes Green, 28, both of Columbus, Jerome Watkins, Jr., 33, of Niagara Falls, N.Y. and Kristina DeLorenzo, 31, of Lewiston, N.Y.
According to the indictment, from at least January 2018 until April 2018, co-conspirators served as either straw purchasers, couriers or resellers of firearms purchased in Columbus and eventually resold in Canada.
Hearn would allegedly purchase the firearms from various federally-licensed firearms dealers in Central Ohio by providing false information on ATF Form 4473. It is further alleged that Green, with money provided by Hearn, assisted in the purchase of at least six of the firearms.
Hearn, Watkins and DeLorenzo then allegedly acted as couriers or assisted in courier duties, regularly traveling between Columbus and Niagara Falls and/or across the Canadian border for resale.
“The group allegedly moved at least 38 firearms from Central Ohio to eventually be resold in Canada,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman.
Conspiracy to illegally transfer firearms is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by ATF, and the assistance of the ATF field office in Buffalo, New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern District of Ohio and the Western District of New York, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys S. Courter Shimeall and Kevin W. Kelley, who are prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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