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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2011

Contact: Special Agent Joseph Green

(646) 335-5012

Federally Licensed Gun Dealer Convicted

Supplied Guns to Upstate Drug Gangs

UTICA, N.Y. – On June 3, 2010 , John P. Gilbride, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the New York Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Richard S. Hartunian; and Ronald B. Turk, SAC of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced the conviction of John B. Rumble, Jr., a federal firearms licensee (FFL), stemming from a seven-count indictment. Rumble was charged with one count of conspiracy to make false statements in FFL records, two counts of selling firearms to a drug user, two counts of making false statements in FFL records, one count of being a drug user in possession of 150 firearms and one count of threatening to kill a DEA agent. The charges are in conjunction with Operation Medusa, a federal, state and local investigation into drug trafficking in St. Lawrence County.

Following a jury trial held in U.S. District Court in Utica, N.Y., Rumble was found guilty on June 2, 2011 on six firearms counts. The jury deadlocked on the threat to kill a DEA agent and the judge declared a mistrial on that count. Rumble, who has been in custody since his arrest in April 2009, was ordered by the court to remain in custody until his sentencing in November 2011. He is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Operation Medusa was initiated to target drug trafficking organizations (DTO) that operate on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation along the Canadian border. The organizations traffic multi-million dollars worth of high grade Canadian marijuana on a monthly basis into the United States, said DEA SAC Gilbride. Together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we were able to successfully arrest 30 defendants on federal drug trafficking and associated firearms charges. Agents dismantled several illicit DTOs and arrested an associated FFL who violated his oath for a profit.

Law enforcement’s job is hard enough in trying to stop illegal gun runners from selling their weapons under the radar. It is even more difficult when a federally licensed gun dealer exploits the rules and regulations in place to monitor gun sales and works hand in hand with criminals and drug dealers seeking to obtain guns through illegal means, said ATF SAC Turk. ATF remains focused on stemming the flow of illegal guns into our communities and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep our neighborhoods safer.

This highly successful prosecution resulted from a well-coordinated investigative effort involving the DEA, ATF, New York State Police (NYSP) Troop B Gun Investigation Unit, St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, said United States Attorney Hartunian . It is a clear demonstration of just how effective federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can be working together to protect the public.

DEA agents from the Plattsburgh Resident Office (PO) dismantled the Louis Tomassini DTO upon Tomassini’s arrest in October 2008. With the assistance of the NYSP Troop B Gun Investigation Unit and ATF-Syracuse, agents followed the trail of three firearms that were seized from the Louis Tomassini organization directly to Rumble. On April 2, 2009, together with ATF-Syracuse, the NYSP, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the Ogdensburg Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol Ogdensburg Station, the Plattsburgh RO served a federal search warrant on Rumble at his residence in Ogdensburg, N.Y. Rumble was arrested by drug task force officers. Loaded assault rifles and pistols were found in almost every room. As a result of the search, which took two days to complete, agents seized 174 firearms to include dozens of loaded assault rifles, long guns, shotguns and pistols. Agents also seized a loaded Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle.

After seizing Rumble’s weapons, ATF also seized his Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) Book which Rumble was required to maintain as an FFL dealer. After a complete and thorough audit of Rumble’s A&D Book, ATF agents discovered three straw purchasing conspiracies and identified six potential co-conspirators. ATF also obtained a search warrant for hair and urine samples in which the hair sample yielded a positive result for the presence of marijuana, a paramount finding in convicting Rumble on the drug user in possession of firearms charge.

Operation Medusa to date has yielded the seizure of 296 firearms, the majority of which are military-style assault weapons such as the FN-FAL, AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. This is a record seizure for the Northern District of New York. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rance Reynolds.