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Man Tied to Gun That Killed 2 Ohio Officers Pleads Guilty

May 31, 2018  | 

A guilty plea by a man charged with providing the gun used to kill two Ohio police officers illustrates the danger of illegal gun purchases, a U.S. Attorney in Ohio said Thursday.

"Straw purchasing is dangerous, and this case makes that more clear than any other case," said Ben Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

Police Officers Anthony Morelli, left, and Eric Joering were killed while responding to a call in Westerville, Ohio. (Photo: City of Westerville)
Police Officers Anthony Morelli, left, and Eric Joering were killed while responding to a call in Westerville, Ohio. (Photo: City of Westerville)

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Gerald Lawson, of suburban Cleveland, bought the handgun that 31-year-old Quentin Smith used in the February slayings of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli, reports the Associated Press.

Lawson pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. Judge Edmund Sargus to aiding and abetting a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. 

Lawson faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. No sentencing date was set.

Smith was indicted in March on charges that carry the possibility of a death sentence.


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