Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

April 30, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a Howard County man was found guilty of committing two firearm violations as a result of Operation Crime Gun, his illegal gun prosecution initiative. Frank Peter Diangelo, 44, of 16404 Old Frederick Road, Mount Airy, plead guilty today to Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm and False Application to Purchase a Regulated Firearm. The Honorable James B. Dudley, Circuit Court Judge for Howard County, sentenced Diangelo to a total of three years incarceration with all but 90 days suspended, and to be served in the Howard County Detention Center. In addition, he placed Diangelo on five years of probation, and required him to forfeit all 11 handguns seized by the Maryland State Police.

This case arose on April 21, 2000, when Diangelo submitted an application to purchase a 45 caliber handgun from the Gun Shack, a regulated firearms dealer located in Carroll County. Diangelo falsely stated in the application that he did not have criminal convictions that would prohibit him from possessing the handgun. That application was then forwarded to the Firearms Registration Section of the Maryland State Police, who discovered that Diangelo did in fact have several criminal convictions that prohibited him from owning handguns. Specifically, Diagnelo had been previously convicted of Second Degree Assault and Intimidation of a Witness in 1997, and Disorderly Conduct and Carrying a Deadly Weapon on School property in 1994. Therefore, Diangelo’s application to purchase a handgun was denied.

The Ceasefire Unit of the Maryland State Police began a follow-up investigation. They ultimately learned, through use of the Maryland Automated Firearms Services System, that Diangelo had numerous handguns listed in his name that he was prohibited from possessing. As a result, troopers from the Ceasefire Unit went to Diangelo’s residence on October 6, 2000, in order to discuss with him whether he still had these weapons. Diangelo admitted to having the weapons, but, at least initially, angrily refused to allow them to be taken. Ultimately, troopers were able to talk Diangelo into peacefully surrendering the 11 handguns he had in his possession. In addition to the handguns, there were 22 other firearms, including rifles and shotguns in Diangelo’s residence. While the troopers removed the handguns from the residence, Diangelo stated that he receives literature from a Militia group in Colorado and he couldn’t wait for them to come and overthrow the government, and that he would be there to join them.

"Mr. Diangelo cannot legally possess a regulated firearm in Maryland because of his criminal background," Attorney General Curran said. "Because he lied on his application and because he was illegally in possession of nearly a dozen handguns, he will go to jail. I applaud State Police investigators for their vigilance in this case."

This case was investigated by the Cease Fire Unit of the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Special Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, in connection with a partnership the two agencies have formed to further efforts to combat handgun violations. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from a grant received from the Governor’’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention.