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For Immediate Release
September 10, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CARROLL CO. MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION,
TRANSFER OF GUN USED IN NEW YORK CITY HOMICIDES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that charges were filed against Damon Avon Collins, 5115 Hodges Road, Eldersburg, by a Carroll County grand jury with the following six gun-related violations: Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm - Felony Drug Conviction; Illegal Possession of Firearm - Felony Drug Conviction; Illegal Transfer of a Regulated Firearm (Failure to Comply with Transfer Requirements); Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm to a Felon; Illegal Transfer of a Regulated Firearm to a Person under the Age of 21; and the Illegal Transfer of a Regulated Firearm to a Person convicted of a Crime of Violence.

The indictment alleges that Collins, who had been previously convicted in the Carroll County Circuit Court with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, illegally possessed a .380 semi-automatic handgun on or about June 1, 2002. The indictment further charges that Collins unlawfully transferred the handgun to Steven Santos, who was an individual prohibited from possessing a handgun because he was under the age of 21, and who was previously found guilty of 1st Degree Burglary, a felony crime of violence. Subsequent to the alleged transfer, Santos was charged on June 12, 2002, in New York City, with using this weapon to shoot and kill an 80-year-old married couple, and a 49-year-old man, all residents in the same apartment complex. Collins was arrested and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond in the Carroll County Detention Center.

Collins is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalty for Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearm - Felon Drug Conviction is mandatory incarceration for five years. The maximum penalty for Illegal Possession of Firearm - Felony Drug Conviction; Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm - Failure to Comply with Transfer Requirements; Illegal Transfer of a Regulated Firearm to a Felon; and Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm to Person Under Age of 21 is five years incarceration and/or a $10,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Maryland State Police, Cease Fire Unit, and the Office of the Attorney General, and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from grants received from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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