Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 20, 2014

Ohio man charged with selling gun to teen

Greenup County youth brought gun to high school football game

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — An Ohio man is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in U.S. District Court on a charge stemming from the sale of a handgun to a Greenup County youth who brought the weapon to a high school football game in October.

Fredrick Stiltner of Wheelersburg is charged with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident. He was indicted last week by a U.S. District Court grand jury in Covington.

The charge is a felony offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised probation. However, any sentence Stiltner might receive if he is convicted would be imposed after consideration of federal sentencing guidelines.

The indictment alleges that on Oct. 4, Stiltner, who was not a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or collector of firearms, as defined by federal law, sold an SCCY Industries 9mm automatic pistol to an individual whom he had “reasonable cause to believe” was not a resident of Ohio, as Stiltner was at the time of the sale.

The youth was 15 at the time of the sale, but the charge is unrelated to the buyer’s age. Miminum ages to purchase and possess firearms are regulated by state laws. Kentucky law prohibits any person under 18 from possessing a handgun, with certain exceptions.

Stiltner’s arraignment is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins.

The incident involving the gun allegedly sold by Stiltner occurred Oct. 11 at Greenup County High School. According to the Greenup County Sheriff’s Department, the boy who bought the weapon brought it onto school grounds prior to the Musketeers’ homecoming football game against Johnson Central.

The sheriff’s department said at the time the youth had purchased the gun from an Ohio man he contacted via the Internet.

The GCHS student never brandished the gun, but instead showed it to other students about two hours before the game, said district safe schools coordinator Scarlet Shoemaker. He surrendered the weapon and ammunition to school officials with no dispute, Shoemaker said.

The incident happened around 5 p.m., when few people were on campus other than ballplayers and coaches, she said. The boy lifted his shirt, showed the loaded pistol to some of the players and asked them not to tell anyone.

The players told coaches, who took them and other players to the locker room and locked it down, Shoemaker said. Assistant coach Lance Warnock spoke to the boy and persuaded him to turn over a bag with ammunition, and other school officials got him to hand over the gun, she said.

The incident happened on school grounds but outside the stadium, she said. The football game went on without incident.

Sheriff Keith Cooper said the gun seller contacted authorities after seeing a newspaper story about the incident two days after it occurred. The sheriff also said at the time the boy had told investigators he had brought the gun to the school because “he just wanted to look cool.”

The boy was charged in state court. The status of his case wasn’t known because juvenile court records are confidential.

Shoemaker said Wednesday that the youth was no longer a student in the Greenup County district and had not been since the incident.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.