‘Charged’ – meaning the activities were already illegal, no new gun laws needed.


Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio

Press Release:

DAYTON – A friend of Dayton mass shooter Connor Betts has been charged federally with lying on federal firearms forms in order to purchase weapons and with illegally possessing those weapons. The friend also allegedly purchased firearm components and body armor for Betts, which Betts used in the August 4 shooting.

Ethan Kollie, 24, of Kettering, was arrested Friday evening. His case was unsealed today.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd A. Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl announced the charges.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, federal agents interviewed Kollie on August 4 in connection with the mass shooting earlier that day in Dayton.

During that first interview, Kollie allegedly told agents that he likes guns and currently owns a handgun and a micro Draco pistol.

He also indicated that he purchased body armor and a firearm component for Betts earlier this year.

Kollie consented to a search of his residence, and while inside, agents smelled marijuana and observed in plain sight a bong and the Draco pistol.

Federal agents interviewed Kollie again on August 8. During that second interview, Kollie indicated he and Betts had done “hard drugs,” marijuana and acid together four to five times a week during 2014 to 2015. When asked how often he used drugs in the past year and a half, Kollie said he smokes marijuana every day and has done so since he was 14.

The affidavit details that Kollie also told agents he uses psychedelic mushrooms, which he grows in his residence, and “micro-doses” on a constant basis, stating it gives him energy and is “fun.”

Kollie allegedly told agents he lied on ATF Form 4473 while purchasing firearms, specifically while answering question 11e that asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Kollie checked the “no” box.

According to the affidavit, Kollie also acknowledged purchasing three items used by Betts during the August 4 mass shooting:

  1. body armor,
  2. upper receiver that was attached to the AM-15 weapon and
  3. 100-round double drum magazine.

Kollie indicated he purchased these items for Betts and stored them at his apartment to assist Betts in hiding them from Betts’ parents. Kollie and Betts allegedly assembled the AM-15 in Kollie’s apartment approximately 10 weeks ago. Approximately six to eight weeks ago, Kollie obtained the drum magazine. At that time, Betts took possession of it, the assembled weapon, and the body armor.

Agents returned to Kollie’s apartment with a federal search warrant and recovered the micro Draco pistol, a Taurus Model PT111 G2A semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, including a “bong,” and suspected marijuana and mushrooms believed to contain Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. Kollie was at the apartment at the time agents executed the warrant and was carrying a concealed (with permit) .38 Taurus revolver and a small amount of suspected marijuana, both of which were also recovered pursuant a warrant. Lab testing is in progress. 

Possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Making a false statement regarding firearms carries a potential maximum sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment.

Kollie is currently in custody and will appear in federal court in Dayton at 3pm on Wednesday for a detention hearing.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, as well as First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel and Assistant United States Attorney Dominick S. Gerace, who are prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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