Two Indicted for Conspiring to Illegally Obtain Firearms - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Two Indicted for Conspiring to Illegally Obtain Firearms

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BALTIMORE- Two Chestertown men have been indicted for conspiring to illegally obtain firearms for a prohibited person, according to the Department of Justice.

Officials say a federal grand jury indicted Daniel P. Welch, 36, of Crumpton and Chestertown, Md., and Jonathan M. Sutton, 36, of Chestertown, on charges of conspiring to unlawfully get firearms for a prohibited person.

The indictment, returned Wednesday, also charges Welch with being a felon in possession of firearms.

Officials say the four count indictment alleges that Welch is a previously convicted felon and therefore prohibited from having firearms.

The indictment reads that overtime, Sutton obtained six firearms for Welch through private sellers and “straw purchases.”

By definition, a “straw purchase” occurs when an individual, who is ineligible to lawfully purchase a firearm, solicits another to conduct the transaction.

As part of the purchase of a firearm, the middleman-buyer must complete the ATF Form 4473, which notifies the buyer that such purchases are unlawful.

Officials say the indictment alleges that Welch and Sutton visited four ATMs in Stevensville near a federally licensed firearms dealer. Welch withdrew $1,700 in cash.

According to the Justice Department, Welch and Sutton went to the firearms dealer and chose firearms for Sutton to purchase for Welch.

Sutton purchased a Smith & Wesson MP5-22, a Mossberg Persuada 500, and a Century Arms SKS.

Sutton completed Form 4473 indicating the he was the actual buyer of the firearms.

A couple days later, officials say Sutton picked up the guns and transferred them to Welch.

According to the indictment, Sutton went on to buy a Marlin rifle from the firearms dealer, again completing the Form 4473 and falsely indicting that he was buying the gun for himself.

He later acquired a Remington Arms 597 and a Ruger Single Six, both .22 caliber, through private purchases. The indictment alleges those guns were subsequently possessed by Welch.

Officials say the defendants face a maxiumu sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy. Welch faces a maximum penalty of 10 years for each of three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Sutton is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 7, 2014.

No court appearance has yet been scheduled for Welch, who is currently in state custody on unrelated charges.

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