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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of California

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Sandra R. Brown
, United States Attorney
Contact: Thom Mrozek

Local Newspaper Editor Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms in ‘Guns for Haiti’ Investigation

LOS ANGELES – The editor of a newspaper that covers the Sunland/Tujunga area has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for illegally possessing firearms.
 
David "Doc" DeMulle, 75, of Tujunga, the editor-in-chief of The Foothills Paper, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright III.
 
DeMulle pleaded guilty in 2016 to being a convicted felon in possession of firearms. When he imposed the sentence earlier this week, Judge Wright found that DeMulle possessed 25 firearms and hundreds of pounds of ammunition that he was forbidden to possess because of convictions for perjury and welfare fraud in 1990.
 
This matter came to the attention of the firearms trafficking unit of the Los Angeles Police Department and ATF agents when DeMulle published an advertisement in his paper concerning "Guns for Haiti Quake Relief." The ad solicited donations of firearms, which DeMulle then purportedly would sell, using the proceeds to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Undercover LAPD officers responded to the advertisement and delivered two firearms to DeMulle, who illegally accepted them.
 
Subsequent searches of DeMulle’s home and business led authorities to recover 23 additional firearms, as well as hundreds of pounds (not rounds) of ammunition.
 
The investigation also revealed that DeMulle had previously placed classified ads in The Foothills Paper soliciting firearms, which resulted in him purchasing several firearms from a private citizen while falsely claiming that he possessed a federal firearms dealer’s license and would handle the firearms transfer paperwork.
 
The case against DeMulle was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Los Angeles Police Department.
 
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Lesser of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.
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Field Division: Los Angeles Field Division