YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man in custody on drug and weapons offenses in January told federal agents in an affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday he had a gun to protect a drug house from being robbed.
In the same affidavit, another man in custody told federal agents he had a gun with him even though he is barred from owning or being around guns because of a prior criminal conviction because “he would rather have it than not have it.”
The affidavit is part of a criminal complaint in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio charging Anthony Bonner and Robert Jeter, both 39, with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The two were arrested by Youngstown police Jan. 20 serving a search warrant investigating drug activity at a home on Idora Avenue. Both men agreed to talk to federal agents after they were taken into custody by city police, the affidavit said.
At the home, police reported finding over $4,100 cash, a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and felony-one level crack cocaine.
Bonner was arrested on a first-degree felony charge of possession of cocaine as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. The home was his residence, reports said.
Jeter was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The affidavit said Bonner admitted the .40-caliber handgun was his and that he knew he is not allowed to have a gun because of a previous felony conviction for bank robbery, for which he served a nine-year prison sentence.
Bonner also claimed in the affidavit that Jeter “was just a homeless person he was helping out,” and that he had the gun because he would “rather have it than not have it.”
Jeter told the agents the 9mm pistol was his and that he sold drugs at the home for Bonner and had the gun to protect the home in case someone tried to rob it, the affidavit stated.
Jeter has past convictions for improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin.
Besides the bank robbery, Bonner also has past convictions for aggravated arson, felon in possession of a firearm and taking personal property of the United States and possession of cocaine and heroin.
The case is assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson, but arraignment dates have not been set yet, according to court records.
Robert Jeter has been in the Mahoning County jail since his arrest. Court records show Bonner was able to post $35,000 bond after his arraignment in municipal court.