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For Immediate Release
July 25, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

THREE MEN CONVICTED OF BUYING WEAPONS FROM
AN EMPLOYEE OF BALTIMORE COUNTY LIQUOR STORE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a joint investigation with the Baltimore County Police Department’s Firearms Violence Team has resulted in the convictions of three men on various gun-related crimes by the Honorable John Grason Turnbull, II, sitting for the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.

Ronald Gorman Frank, 41, of 3523 Prospect Road in Street, Harford County, was found guilty of three counts of illegal transfer of a regulated firearm, and three counts of illegal possession of a regulated firearm. Travis Todd Bynaker, 33, of 1113 Anglesea Street in Baltimore, was found guilty of two counts of illegal transfer of a regulated firearm, and one count of illegal possession of a regulated firearm. Scott Kreh, 33, of 609 Mace Avenue in Baltimore County, was found guilty of four counts of illegal transfer of a regulated firearm. All three men were sentenced to three years incarceration, all suspended, and placed on two years of probation,18 months of which will be supervised.

Between August 2000 and January 2002, Baltimore County detectives learned from sources that an employee of Oak Grove Liquors was selling handguns and assault weapons to individuals from the store. The detectives learned that the sales were taking place without the required transfer paperwork or background checks. Detectives ultimately identified Gerry Hege as the person selling the guns, and further learned that of 21 guns registered to him he had only six left in his possession. Detectives discovered that one of the sold weapons was used in a shooting in Essex and another was seized by Baltimore County Police when it was illegally discharged. Continued investigation and the execution of numerous search warrants ultimately led to the recovery of numerous weapons. Frank, Bynaker, and Kreh were all found to have illegally bought guns from Hege.

Frank bought an AK-47 assault rifle, a .22 caliber handgun, and a .357 caliber revolver from Hege without completing any of the required paperwork. Frank was prohibited under Maryland law from legally possessing these guns due to a previous felony theft conviction. A search warrant was executed on his office and home, and officers recovered a total of six handguns, one AK-47, 10 shotguns, 10 rifles, and various ammunition. Bynaker was found to have initially tried to legally purchase the .380 handgun from Hege by completing the required paperwork through the Maryland State Police, only to have his application to purchase the gun denied because of a previous conviction for Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance: Not Marijuana. Bynaker proceeded to illegally buy a .380 handgun and a .40 caliber handgun from Hege. Kreh was found to have illegally bought a .44 caliber handgun and a 9mm handgun from Hege, only to shortly thereafter illegally sell both of them to two other individuals, one of which was under the age of 21. Both of those guns were recovered.

Hege was charged in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County for his role in the sale of these weapons in a 15 count criminal information. Ryan Thomas, who is alleged to have illegally bought one of the weapons from Kreh, was also in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Both trials are scheduled on August 4, 2003.

This case was investigated by the Baltimore County Police Department’s Firearms Violence Team, and was prosecuted by the Firearms Trafficking Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. The Firearms Trafficking Unit is funded from grants received from the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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