Straw Purchaser Charged For Buying Gun For Westervile Cop-Killer

A man has been charged with buying the gun used to murder two officers.

​Westerville, OH – A man was charged with providing the weapon to the gunman who fatally shot two veteran Westerville police officers on Feb. 10.

Police said that Gerald Lawson, 30, purchased the firearm for shooting suspect Quentin Smith last summer, FOX News reported.

Smith gave Lawson the money to buy the .40 caliber Glock handgun, as well as an extra $100 for making it happen, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Because he is a convicted felon, Smith was prohibited by law from owning a firearm.

Police said that Lawson and Smith were old friends, and Lawson was well aware that Smith was not allowed to have a weapon.

Tips, social media posts and a gun trace led authorities to Lawson, according to Ronald Herndon, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives.

Lawson was charged with aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison.

Federal Magistrate Judge Kimberly Jolson on Wednesday ordered Lawson held without bond, WKYC reported.

“Had he not received the firearm from this person, who knows where we would be today,” U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman said after Lawson's first court appearance, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The courtroom was filled with dozens of officers from Westerville and central Ohio.

Westerville Police Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli were responding to a hang-up 911 call at Smith’s residence when Smith opened fire on them.

Officers fired back, and Smith was hit.

The officers were killed.

Smith remains in the hospital on life support, WKBN reported.

He was charged with two preliminary counts of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty because the two victims were police officers killed in the line of duty, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

Smith was sentenced to three years in prison for burglary in 2009 with an added enhancement of having a gun, Fox News reported.

He was paroled in 2011, and released from parole in 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Comments
Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Yes, there needs to be more mandatory minimum sentences and maybe less flexibility on these plea bargains for crimes of violence against people. Don't forget the DA has a conviction rate he's very concerned with, gotta look good come election time. I've seen aggravated burglaries get turned into misdemeanor trespass and battery charges on felons with rap sheets a mile long. In my state an agg burglary should get a funkball 30 years in the state pen.

Ronnytx031
Ronnytx031

This is why sticker gun laws won't work. If criminals or mentally ill want a gun they will find a way to get them. The trick is everyone that is caught illegally with a gun to make the penalty more severe.

BunnyDee714
BunnyDee714

That odious waste of skin should charged with 2 counts of aggravated murder. People are screaming about gun control, how about we crack down on people who buy guns for felons? I won't wait one foot for that to happen.

JohnPollastro
JohnPollastro

Pull the plug on Smith so it won’t cost taxpayers money since he going to get the death sentence! And add conspiracy to commit murder on Lawson since he provided the weapon for smith who wasn’t supposed to possess it and he New about that, all for $100! He should get the desth penalty for just being stupid!

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