DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas has charged three local men with various federal firearms offenses related to their scheme to illegally acquire firearms they intended to transfer to others, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.
The three defendants, Ranferi Osorio, 27, and his brother, Otilio Osorio, 22, and Kelvin Leon Morrison, 25, have been in custody since their arrest on Feb. 28 by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other state and local agencies on charges in related criminal complaints.
The six-count indictment, returned Wednesday, charges each defendant with one count of conspiracy to acquire a firearm from a licensed dealer by false or fictitious statement and four substantive counts of that offense. It also charges Ranferi and Otilio Osorio with one count of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
According to the indictment, if a person buys a firearm from someone else but claims that he or she is the actual transferee/buyer of the listed firearm(s), the firearm acquisition is called a “straw purchase” and the conduct is called “lying and buying.”
The indictment alleges that beginning in July 2010 and continuing through at least November 2010, the defendants made false statements to a licensed dealer to illegally procure at least 10 firearms, that they intended to transfer to others. Together they formulated a plan that included selecting the licensed dealers and the types of firearms to be purchased and acquiring the firearms from those dealers by making false statements intended to deceive the firearm dealer.
The indictment also alleges that on Nov. 9, 2010, the Osorio brothers knowingly possessed 12 Romarm, Model Draco, 7.62x39 caliber pistols that had the serial numbers obliterated.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each count of acquiring a firearm from a licensed dealer by making a false or fictitious statement carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Upon conviction, the conspiracy count and the possession of a firearm with a removed or obliterated serial number, each carry a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the ATF, DEA, FBI, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations and the Lancaster, Texas, Police Department.
Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay is in charge of the prosecution.