An Ohio grand jury recently indicted a former Ohio sheriff’s deputy for illegally purchasing a machine gun in 2009.
Eric A. Spicer, 44, was charged with using falsified documents to illegally obtain a machine gun from a New York firearms dealer, according to a news release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In order to obtain the weapon, Spicer, a former Major with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, forged his boss’s name, Sheriff Gene Fischer, and claimed the weapon was to be used while on-duty.
Spicer found himself on the ATF’s radar for the machine gun purchase following a controversial shootout earlier this year. Suspicions solidified when agents raided his house in March and they seized the machine gun in question, at which point Spicer lied to agents and said he was a police officer at the Jackson Township Police Department.
He bought the .223-caliber rifle from AmChar Wholesale, Inc. for $1,684.80 in November 2009, and had the weapon delivered to the sheriff’s office, but according to court documents, it was never included in the department’s inventory, WHIO reports.
Court documents also noted that the Jackson Township police chief, who expressed interest in hiring Spicer, requested the rifle be transferred to his department.
While Spicer may have found himself in legal trouble for falsifying records, it was his involvement with a July 2013 shootout in Yellow Springs that led to his termination on March 6, 2014.
Spicer shot and killed a suspect, Paul E. Schenk, who was barricaded inside a residence. While officials investigated the incident, Spicer was placed on paid administrative leave for several months. Upon its findings, Spicer was relieved of his duties, according to WDTN.
“He was placed on leave after the Yellow Springs police standoff ended in the death of Paul E. Schenk, a resident, who fired more than 100 shots at law enforcement officers on July 30,” Fischer said.
In total, Spicer was charged with one count each of illegal possession of a machine gun, making a false statement to a law enforcement official, making a false statement in conjunction with the purchase of a firearm, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of a firearm transferred in violation of the National Firearms Act, and two counts of making a false entry on an application to acquire a firearm.
“I’m saddened by the events,” Fischer said. “We have cooperated with the ATF and will continue to do so.”
Spicer is scheduled to be arraigned May 9 in U.S. District Court. If convicted of all counts he faces up to 65 years behind bars.