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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York
Trini E. Ross, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Lying on Federal Gun Form

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Allen DeCola, 65, of Perry, Ohio, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that DeCola is a former federal firearms licensee, who operated under the name MGA Arms, Inc. On three separate occasions in May 2018, DeCola sold a total of 21 firearms to three straw purchasers, meaning that the individuals buying the firearms were doing so for other people. However, all three straw purchasers falsely stated on a form required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, that they were the actual purchaser of the firearms. DeCola knew that this was false.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. Additional assistance was provided by the ATF in Youngstown Ohio, and the Ashtabula, Ohio Police Department.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2023, before Judge Wolford.

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