Former southwest Ohio police chief charged in machine gun conspiracy

Former Addyston Police Chief Dorian LaCourse. CONTRIBUTED BY WCPO-TV

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Former Addyston Police Chief Dorian LaCourse. CONTRIBUTED BY WCPO-TV

A former police chief is accused of giving false statements to illegally acquire machine guns for two weapons dealers.

That’s according to a federal indictment unsealed last week, which charged former Addyston Police Chief Dorian LaCourse for his role in the “conspiracy,” reported our news partner, WCPO-TV. Addyston is a village in Hamilton County.

The indictment said that with LaCourse’s cooperation, Indiana gun dealers Christopher Petty and Johnathan Marcum imported approximately 200 machine guns by falsely claiming the weapons would be purchased by the small village police department or would be used for “demonstrations” for Addyston officers.

Under federal law, the importation, sale, purchase and possession of automatic weapons manufactured since 1986 are restricted to use related to the military and law enforcement, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges the conspiracy began around October 2015 and ended in May 2019.

Petty was an Addyston police officer during the alleged conspiracy, according to records provided by the village. Marcum and Petty are accused of marketing the automatic weapons and ultimately selling approximately 100 of them. According to the indictment, some of the machine guns were sold at five to six times the purchase price.

“LaCourse was paid a portion of the profits for his role in the scheme,” the indictment said.

Marcum is alleged to have written 11 checks to LaCourse for approximately $11,500. LaCourse is charged with 17 criminal counts relating to false statements he allegedly made to further the conspiracy.

Each count carries a maximum federal prison sentence of five years or 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

Petty and Marcum were also each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by making false statements to firearms regulators.

Marcum has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the southern district of Indiana, according to a court filing by his attorney.

LaCourse resigned as Addyston’s police chief in March 2020 after village officials accused him of falsifying information to get the automatic weapons.

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