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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan
Mark A. Totten, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Straw Purchaser Sentenced to 58 Months in Federal Prison

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — David Tillman Deloach, 39, from Kalamazoo, Michigan was sentenced to serve 58 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for using a stolen identity to illegally purchase 28 handguns. Chief U.S. District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou also imposed 3 years of supervised release following his release from custody.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten stated, “Mr. Deloach’s crimes are serious. By using another person’s identity over the course of approximately five months to purchase a cache of handguns, Mr. Deloach is fueling the epidemic of violence plaguing our communities. Mr. Deloach is arming convicted felons, like himself, who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms. My office, working with the ATF, will continue to target individuals who are straw purchasing firearms.”

A Special Agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Chicago Field Division began investigating Mr. Deloach after he was stopped by Indiana State Police for traffic violations and during a search of his car, troopers found two handguns. As a convicted felon, Mr. Deloach was prohibited from possessing any firearms. Three months later, Mr. Deloach was a passenger in a car stopped by Chicago Police, in which officers found five handguns. The ATF Special Agent discovered that between March and July 2021, Mr. Deloach, a convicted felon, used a stolen identity to purchase 28 handguns from three licensed gun stores in Western Michigan. Only three of these pistols have been seized by police; the location of vast majority of the handguns purchased by Mr. Deloach remains unknown.

On September 20, 2022, Mr. Deloach pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, being a felon in possession of firearms, and making false statements during the purchase of firearms. In sentencing Mr. Deloach to serve almost 5 years in federal prison, Judge Jarbou expressed her desire to protect the community and send a strong message of deterrence to others.

“Straw purchasers play a pivotal role in enabling the unlawful possession of guns and the violence that can follow,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division Kristen de Tineo. “ATF, in collaboration with our local, state and federal partners, is committed to working together to stop the flow of guns to individuals who cannot legally purchase them.”

This case was investigated by the ATF as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce violent crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement work closely together to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for driving violent crime in our communities to make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Individuals with information or concerns about violent crime or firearms offenses should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit:

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