ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Tennessee

www.justice.gov/usao/tnm

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jerry E. Martin, United States Attorney

Contact: Philip Wehby, AUSA
615-736-5151
philip.wehby@usdoj.gov

Former Metro Nashville Police Officer Convicted of Making False Statements to a Firearms Dealer

Nashville, Tenn. — Edwing Ronal Morales, a former Metropolitan Nashville police officer, was found guilty on December 15, 2010 by a jury, after a two day trial in U.S. District Court in Nashville, of two counts of making false statements to a firearms dealer during two attempted purchases of handguns in 2009, announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee; Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Nashville Field Division; Jon Ruttencutter, Resident Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Nashville Field Office; and Steve Anderson, Interim Chief of Police, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

According to the trial testimony, Morales went to Guns and Leather, a federal firearms licensee, located in Greenbrier, Tennessee on two occasions in May and July of 2009. Morales attempted to purchase handguns for a friend and co-defendant in the case, Julio Rojas-Lopez. During the attempted purchases, Morales, a Nashville police officer since September 2007, falsely represented on a Firearms Transaction Record, commonly known as a 4473 Form, that he was the actual buyer of handguns that were actually intended for Rojas-Lopez, who was illegally transporting guns to Guatemala. Morales was terminated from the police department in September 2009.

###