YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An East Side man who said he is a coach for a youth football team is one of four men whose indictments were unsealed Monday in federal court on gun charges.
Randy Triplett, 31, of Berkley Avenue, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after a July 2 arrest by Liberty police.
Triplett posted $40,000 bond in that case at the state level, but he was arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals and booked into the Mahoning County jail on the federal charge. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio.
Three other men were also indicted in separate cases on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. They are:
— Michael L. Green Jr., 41. He is accused of having a 9mm semiautomatic pistol Dec. 15. His indictment does not give any other details.
The indictment in his case said Green is not allowed to have a gun because of a 2005 conviction in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm and a conviction in 2014 for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a violent felon.
Green also has felony convictions in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court dating back to 1999. He has yet to be arraigned.
— Michael A. Salsgiver Sr., 50. He is accused of having a 9mm semiautomatic handgun Oct. 4. The indictment does not give any other details.
Salsgiver is not allowed to have a gun because of a 2000 conviction in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for felonious assault, for which he received a six-year prison sentence. Court records show he was originally charged with murder but the charge was amended to felonious assault.
— James Thomas, 29. He is accused of having a 9mm semiautomatic pistol Feb. 25. The indictment does not give any other details.
Thomas is not allowed to have a gun because of convictions in 2017 and 2018 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for burglary and possession of methamphetamine, respectively and 2021 in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for possession of methamphetamine.
Triplett was pulled over about 7:50 p.m. July 2 by Liberty police after he was spotted riding a motorcycle at Mansel Drive and Belmont Avenue for an improper turn.
Reports said when Triplett was asked if he had a gun, he at first said no, and he also gave officers a fake name. Reports said Triplett told police that he had a license but not a motorcycle endorsement. When told to turn the motorcycle off, reports said Triplett told police he had done nothing wrong and was only going to the store. He accused police of trying to put him in jail and he appeared very nervous, reports said.
When Triplett was asked to confirm his name, reports said he admitted he gave a false name. When asked why he would give a false name, he told police that he was the coach of a youth football team, according to the report.
After he was handcuffed, Triplett was asked again if he had any weapons, and he said “no,” reports said. Reports said a records check came back that Triplett has an active protection order against him. When police looked in the front compartment of the motorcycle, they found a loaded 9mm handgun, reports said.
On his way to the Trumbull County Jail, reports said Triplett told police he started a youth football team in Youngstown to help combat violence. Reports said he told police because he stays in Youngstown, he needs a gun for protection and that he was not using the gun to harm anyone.
When asked if he made a great example for his players, Triplett said “me having a firearm, that don’t make me a bad person.” He said he was a good person and “he has to protect himself from people like you, too, though.” He also added, “God’s gonna get you big dog, but that’s up to God, not me.”
Besides not being allowed to have the gun because of the protection order, Triplett is also not allowed to have a gun because of 2012 convictions in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for carrying concealed weapons, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property.
Don’t miss the next breaking news story. Sign up for breaking news email alerts below.
He also has a drug conviction in 2014 from Mahoning County Common Pleas Court as well as federal convictions in 2014 on drug charges.