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Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Benjamin C. Glassman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jennifer Thornton

Four Plead Guilty in Ohio-to-Canada Gun Smuggling Ring

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four individuals, including two from Columbus, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to conspiring to illegally purchase firearms.

 

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Roland Herndon, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the pleas entered into before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

 

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., were charged by a federal grand jury in August 2018.

 

According to court documents, from at least January 2018 until April 2018, they served as either straw purchasers, couriers or resellers of firearms purchased in Columbus and eventually resold in Canada.

 

Hearn would purchase the firearms from various federally-licensed firearms dealers in Central Ohio by providing false information on ATF Form 4473. He traveled to at least 12 different federal firearms licensee stores in Central Ohio.

 

Hearn purchased at least 32 firearms and Green, with money provided by Hearn, assisted in the purchase of at least six of the firearms.

 

Hearn, Watkins and DeLorenzo then acted as couriers or assisted in courier duties, regularly traveling between Columbus and Niagara Falls and/or across the Canadian border for resale.

 

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.

 

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Columbus Field Division