Campbell man talks of family background before sentencing on federal gun charge

Local News

Airik Talbott was one of several defendants who were prosecuted under a joint operation known as 'Operation Steel Penguin'

A gavel and books sitting on a wooden table.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The lawyer for a Campbell man expected to be sentenced later this month on a gun charge touched on his client’s troubled family life in a sentencing memorandum in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio.

David Betras, the lawyer for Airik Talbott, 30, said Talbott was repeatedly abused. He said he grew up in a high-crime neighborhood after moving to Youngstown from Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Fla.

Talbott pleaded guilty August 2 to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested by Youngstown police March 24 when he was chased after he was seen arguing with another man at Tod Lane and Logan Avenue.

Talbott ran away and threw a gun as he ran, which turned out to be a loaded Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, reports said. Talbott was caught after he tried to climb a fence but could not get over it.

He is barred from having a firearm after being sentenced to eight years in prison for an aggravated robbery in 2007. He also was convicted of escape in 2018.

He will be sentenced November 19 by U.S. Judge Benita Y. Pearson.

He was one of several defendants who were prosecuted under a joint operation by Youngstown police, the U.S. Attorneys Office, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the state Adult Parole Authority and others known as “Operation Steel Penguin,” which was an operation that targeted people known to use guns.

Betras wrote in his sentencing memorandum that Talbott’s parents divorced when he was 12. He said during that time, he was severely abused by family members.

“Mr. Talbott has been surrounded by violence since he was a child,” Betras wrote.

Talbott has been abusing marijuana since he was 16, Betras wrote, and he has never had any formal treatment for substance abuse.

Betras also reminded the judge that Talbott has pleaded guilty and has accepted responsibility for his crime.

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