A former Maumee cardiologist offered no explanation but quietly admitted in federal court Tuesday that he had conspired to purchase firearms from an Internet dealer by having one of his employees pretend to be the buyer.
Barry P. DeRan, 55, of Lambertville pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and eight counts of aiding and abetting making false statements in the acquisition of firearms. Magistrate Judge James Knepp II accepted his pleas and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 30.
Before that happens, DeRan is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, where he pleaded guilty July 23 to four counts each of aggravated possession of drugs and aggravated trafficking in drugs. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, he has surrendered his state medical license.
In that case, DeRan admitted to prescribing or attempting to prescribe the painkiller OxyContin to persons who were not patients under his care on multiple occasions in 2009.
In federal court Tuesday, Gene Crawford, an assistant U.S. Attorney, said that between August, 2010, and June, 2011, DeRan purchased guns from an Internet-based firearms dealer, paid with a credit card, then had the guns shipped to an Ohio gun dealer.
DeRan then directed an office employee at his medical practice to pick up the guns, sign a federal form in which the employee stated she was the buyer of the guns, and then deliver the firearms to DeRan.
“Dr. DeRan had previously purchased firearms himself before sending his employee to do so,” Mr. Crawford said. He “was familiar with the requirements that the person taking possession of the firearms was to be the actual buyer … and knew that the employee would have to falsely indicate that they were the firearm transferee.”
DeRan did not contest the facts laid out by the prosecutor. He answered “guilty” nine times as Judge Knepp asked how he was pleading to each of the counts.
Though there is no agreement on sentencing, Mr. Crawford said federal guidelines call for a possible sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison. Judge Knepp told DeRan before he pleaded guilty that if he was convicted on the felony charges, he could never possess a firearm again.
Rick Kerger, attorney for DeRan, said afterward that his client had a longtime interest in firearms and had planned to pursue a second business in firearms sales. Because he was under the conditions of a one-year civil protection order from Lucas County Common Pleas Court, he could not legally purchase firearms during that time, though.
“The doctor in this period of time made some bad choices,” Mr. Kerger said. “He tried to help people that he shouldn’t have and then tried to avoid the restrictions of a civil protection order, which said he couldn’t possess guns, and thought he could avoid possession by having someone else pick them up.”
Not only has he lost his medical practice, Mr. Kerger said, he’s lost his avocation for firearms.
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