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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ocala man arrested after allegedly lying on federal firearm form at gun dealer

A 24-year-old Ocala man was recently arrested on a two-count indictment charging him with making a materially false statement on a federal firearm form and causing a Federal Firearm Licensee to maintain false information in its official records.

The announcement of Ralph Fontil, Jr.’s arrest was made by United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg. If convicted of both charges, Fontil faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

Ralph Fontil, Jr.
Ralph Fontil, Jr.

According to the court records, between April 3, 2020, and September 24, 2021, Fontil purchased 22 handguns from multiple gun dealers in the Middle District of Florida, including 17 Glock pistols. While purchasing the firearms, Fontil certified on each ATF Form 4473 (Firearm Transaction Record) that he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the firearms.

One of the gun boxes for a Glock pistol that Fontil purchased on April 3, 2020, was later found at the home of a convicted felon on August 24, 2021. In recorded jail conversations, Fontil allegedly admitted to buying the firearm for the convicted felon, who is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

An indictment is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a federal criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.