For Immediate Release
Ocala Man Arrested for Lying on Federal Firearm Form at Gun Dealer
Ocala, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest of Ralph Fontil, Jr. (24, Ocala) on a two-count indictment charging him with making a materially false statement in connection with the purchase of firearms and causing a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) to maintain false information in its official records. If convicted of both charges, Fontil faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
According to the court records, between April 3, 2020, and September 24, 2021, Fontil purchased 22 handguns from multiple gun dealers in the Middle District of Florida, including 17 Glock pistols. While purchasing the firearms, Fontil certified on each ATF Form 4473 (Firearm Transaction Record) that he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the firearms. One of the gun boxes for a Glock pistol Fontil purchased on April 3, 2020, was found at the home of a convicted felon on August 24, 2021. In recorded jail conversations, Fontil admitted to buying the firearm for the convicted felon, who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a federal criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.