Former Maumee cardiologist Barry DeRan was in federal court Monday prepared to hear his sentence for illegally buying firearms when Judge James Carr postponed the proceeding, saying he needed more information about the case.
DeRan, 55, of Lambertville pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in August to one count of conspiracy and eight counts of aiding and abetting making false statements in the acquisition of firearms. He admitted he bought firearms from an Internet dealer, paid for them with a credit card, had them shipped to an area gun dealer, and then had an employee from his medical practice pretend to be the buyer.
DeRan was precluded from possessing firearms because he was under a one-year civil protection order from Lucas County Common Pleas Court for an unrelated incident.
Judge Carr said sentencing guidelines recommended 24 to 30 months in prison, though defense attorney Rick Kerger objected that what DeRan did “was not done in a way that would warrant a sentence in prison.” The successful physician was working on a “Plan B” — a firearms business, his attorney said.
“He was not trying to buy weapons he’d never be able to possess,” Mr. Kerger said. “He was trying to keep the momentum going on the business he was trying to build.”
Judge Carr wanted to know where the guns were stored.
Mr. Kerger said the guns were kept at the home of DeRan’s friend in Swanton. Gene Crawford, an assistant U.S. attorney, said Lisa Gazda, the employee who bought the guns for DeRan, said she had taken them either to his home or to the trunk of his car.
Given the dispute, which “seems to be a pretty important fact bearing on the sentence,” Judge Carr said, he wanted the two witnesses to come to court and testify. He rescheduled the sentencing for Feb. 24.
Ms. Gazda and firearms dealer William B. Ferguson pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of false entry into firearm records. Ms. Gazda was fined $250; Mr. Ferguson was fined $2,000 and placed on a year’s probation.
DeRan is on probation from Lucas County Common Pleas Court, where he pleaded guilty in July to four counts each of aggravated possession of drugs and aggravated trafficking of drugs for improperly prescribing the pain medication OxyContin to people who were not his patients. DeRan surrendered his medical license as part of a plea agreement.
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