Ohio Police Chief, 2 Indiana Gun Dealers Plead Guilty in Machine Gun Scheme

M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun

DATELINE: ADDYSTON, Ohio — In his position as police chief, court documents say Police Chief Dorian  LaCourse signed multiple “demonstration letters” falsely stating that the Village of Addyston Police Department was interested in purchasing various types of machine guns, including military-grade weapons, and asking that Marcum and or Petty give the demonstration. Marcum and Petty then sent the letters to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in order to obtain the weapons.

According to court documents, LaCourse, Marcum, and Petty, illegally exploited a law enforcement exception to the federal ban on the possession or transfer of fully automatic machine guns.

The Addyston Police Department was never authorized to purchase any of the machine guns, and the Indiana gun dealers never provided any demonstrations of machine guns to the police department. Instead, the gun dealers resold the machine guns at a significant profit. In some instances, a gun dealer resold illegally acquired machine guns for five or six times the price he got them for. They did this for around 200 fully automatic machine guns. LaCourse received $11,500.


One of the weapons in question was an M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, which prosecutors said is “a vehicle- or ship-mounted weapon that is effective against lightly armored vehicles and low-flying aircraft.”

The two gun dealers, Johnathan Marcum of Laurel and Christopher Petty of Lawrenceburg, have both pleaded guilty in the scheme and face up to five years in prison. LaCourse faces 15 years in federal prison. None have been sentenced yet.


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