Federal grand jury indicts two on firearm charges

Local News
Thomas Nickerson and Leonard Ellis are both facing federal weapons charges out of Youngstown.

Thomas Nickerson (left) and Leonard Ellis (right)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A federal grand jury last week indicted two men on firearms charges.

Indicted on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm in separate cases was Thomas Nickerson, 33, of Drummond Avenue and Leonard Ellis, 27, of East Midlothian Boulevard.

Both indictments were unsealed Friday.

Nickerson was arrested April 27 by Youngstown police and federal agents as part of the Operation Steel Penguin gun reduction program.

Reports said Nickerson was arrested after parole agents and city police visited his home and found a marijuana cigarette on a stove. When they searched further, reports said they found a 9mm handgun and a digital scale, reports said.

Nickerson is not allowed to have a gun because of felonious assault and aggravated robbery convictions in 2010 and 2011 from Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, reports said. He received a six-year prison sentence.

Nickerson also had previous criminal convictions dating back to 2006.

Ellis was indicted for having a 9mm semiautomatic pistol Jan. 26. There was no police report or affidavit filed with his indictment but common pleas court records show the original charges were filed by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

Ellis is not allowed to have a gun because of a 2013 burglary conviction and a 2016 felonious assault conviction, both from Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

In the felonious assault case, Ellis was sentenced to seven years in prison for pulling a gun and firing it into the ground during a road rage incident. He was granted judicial release in August of 2020. The plea agreement at the time said prosecutors would not oppose a motion for early release for Ellis as long as he received no write-ups while he was in prison.

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