Feds Announce Indictments In New Initiative to Prosecute Domestic Abusers With Illegal Guns

Initiative aims to prevent convicted domestic abusers from becoming more lethal threats

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Federal prosecutors announced indictments against three men on Tuesday as part of a new initiative targeting convicted domestic abusers who illegally possess firearms.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman and a collection of state and federal law enforcement officials announced indictments against 45-year-old Eldon G. Draper, 30-year-old Stephon A. Moore, and 26-year-old Brandon N. Zachariah. All three were charged with illegal possession of firearms or ammunition after having been convicted of domestic violence charges. The federal charges carry a potential punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

Under federal law, anyone with any felony conviction or a misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction is barred from buying, owning, or possessing firearms or ammunition.

The new initiative is going to be part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which the Department of Justice has made the centerpiece of its efforts to combat violent crime, especially gun crime. DOJ announced last summer that the program had been responsible for increasing federal gun and violent crime prosecutions by 60 percent.

"Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them," DOJ said in a statement. "As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime."

The Justice Department said the program is part of their commitment to reducing and preventing domestic violence as well as coordinating law enforcement efforts to respond to it.

"U.S. Attorney Glassman announced the domestic violence program as part of the Southern District of Ohio's ongoing commitment to protecting people from intimate partner violence and strengthening the capacity of law enforcement and communities to respond to domestic violence," said DOJ in a statement. "The initiative is being implemented with the aim of enhancing collaborations among law enforcement agencies and domestic violence victim services providers, as well as identifying and prosecuting domestic violence abusers who possess guns."