Investigators announced federal indictments on Tuesday against three Columbus men as part of a new push to take guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Stephon A. Moore, 30, from the Olde Towne East neighborhood near Downtown, faces four counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition despite earlier domestic violence and other felony convictions. He also was charged in late April with multiple felonious assault and domestic violence and remains in the Franklin County jail, according to Franklin County Common Pleas Court documents.
Two other men — Eldon G. Draper, 45, from the South Side, and Brandon N. Zachariah, 26, from Franklinton — remained fugitives Tuesday and were being sought by investigators after a grand jury returned indictments against them in federal court in Columbus.
Draper faces firearm and ammunition counts, while Zachariah faces a single ammunition count despite earlier misdemeanor domestic violence and/or felony convictions that bar such possession.
The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein as part of a coordinated effort involving Columbus Police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, community groups and others.
“These three indictments mark the beginning of a partnership … to disarm domestic abusers,” Glassman said, adding that the goal was to “figure out who are the most dangerous individuals so that we can prosecute them, incapacitate those individuals and then hopefully the threat of prosecution will encourage others to lay down their guns.”
Federal law prohibits individuals with felony convictions, who have been found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence, or who are subject to protection orders from possessing firearms or ammunition.
“If you’ve got a person who is ready, willing and able and in fact does choke their wives, hit their partner, that is a person who is dangerous, and if that person has a gun, we want to try to act to try to incapacitate that person before they use that gun to kill somebody, whether it’s their domestic partner, whether it’s a police officer …,” Glassman said.
Moore, Draper and Zachariah face up to 10 years in prison on each count.