More firearm arrests in area

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio filed 124 illegal firearms indictments in the first half of this year, U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach announced.

“Our office and law enforcement partners continue to work around the clock enforcing our nation’s firearms laws,” Dettelbach said in a release. “We are on pace to file more firearms indictments than ever before.”

One of the cases the office pointed to as proof of its success was the April 17 drug and gun sweep in Warren.

In the sweep, more than 150 firearms were seized as part of an investigation that resulted in charges against 55 people for violations of federal firearms and narcotics laws.

An additional 42 people were charged in state court. In just one example, Lewis Powell of Warren was indicted for illegally possessing 14 firearms, as well as body armor and weapons with obliterated serial numbers, as part of a conspiracy that brought heroin and cocaine from Detroit to Warren.

The suspects continue to make their way through various court systems.

“While we will continue to lock up the worst of the worst, who are forbidden from having guns but get them anyway, we must also continue to work to find systemic solutions to curbing the epidemic of gun violence,” Dettelbach said.

Broken down by geography in the district, the most indictments filed came out of the Cleveland office, with 53. That was followed by the Youngstown office with 43, Toledo office with 16 and the Akron office with 12.

There were 73 defendants sentenced last year for firearms crimes and the average sentence was nearly six years in prison.