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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2010

Contact: Patrick Gorman, Special Agent - PIO

Office: (858) 966-1020

ATF Announces Arrest of Straw Purchaser From Barona Resort and Casino Homicide/Suicide Case

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – John A. Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the federal arrest of Delbert Holley, Jr., 30 years old, for the straw purchase of a firearm which was later recovered in a homicide/suicide at the Barona Resort & Casino.

On February 4, 2010, ATF and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department personnel arrested Delbert Holley, Jr., for providing a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm from a licensed dealer.  Law enforcement officials charged that on   December 24, 2009, Delbert Holley, Jr., allegedly purchased a firearm from a federal firearms licensee for Donnell Roberts.  On December 29, 2009, that same firearm was recovered at a homicide/suicide scene at the Barona Resort & Casino in the possession of Donnell Roberts, the shooter and suicide victim.

On February 8, 2010, Delbert Holley, Jr., was arraigned in federal court in the Southern District of California on a criminal complaint.  The charges in the complaint involved the illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another, commonly referred to as a “straw purchase”.    

As the agency responsible for enforcing federal firearms laws, we realize the importance of preventing straw purchase schemes.  These schemes have been employed by individuals supplying firearms to a wide array of criminals with senseless bloodshed sometimes being the result.  This is a prime example of why ATF investigates all cases of suspected straw purchases and firearms trafficking, said John A. Torres.

This post-incident investigation with ATF has helped us further understand exactly what happened that day, explained San Diego Sheriff William D. Gore.  The multi-jurisdictional approach has brought valuable resources to the table to complete the case.

This arrest was the result of an investigation by the ATF and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  This arrest was conducted with assistance and support of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California.

For more information on ATF’s programs, visit the website at

A complaint itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged.  The defendant is presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.