Ex-Addyston police chief reaches plea deal in ‘draft machine gun’: Court documents

ADDYSTON, Ohio (FOX19) – There is a major new development in the case of a former tri-state police chief charged in a 17-count federal indictment with using his position to help two Indiana gun dealers to illegally obtain hundreds of fully automatic weapons.

Former Addyston Police Chief Dorian LaCourse has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, his attorney wrote in new court filings.

LaCourse, 65, of Milford, faced decades in prison if convicted on all counts.

“The specific terms of the guilty plea are submitted for approval to oversight authorities within the United States Attorney’s Office,” his attorney, Andrew Maternowski, wrote in a motion asking the judge to vacate a jury trial on February 28.

Once this is approved and finalized, they will file the written agreement.

LaCourse has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements to the ATF.

His lawyer declined to comment on Tuesday morning.

LaCourse remains free of its own commitment.

He abruptly resigned from the Addyston Police Department in 2020 after village officials furloughed him amid an internal investigation.

A federal grand jury indicted LaCourse in March 2021 for conspiring to help two Indiana arms dealers acquire about 200 machine guns.

The dealers, Johnathan Marcum of Laurel, and Christopher Petty of Lawrenceburg, a retired police officer from Harrison, pleaded guilty last spring to conspiracy and making false statements.

Authorities described the case as a “machine gun ploy”.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana alleged that LaCourse, 65, of Milford, used his position and made false statements to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to obtain the authorization to acquire the weapons.

According to LaCourse’s indictment, he signed several letters and other official documents as police chief falsely telling the ATF and others that the Addyston Police Department was interested in buying or receive demonstrations of machine guns.

Federal officials say he sold some at a profit to Marcum and Petty from October 2015 to May 2019, receiving 11 checks for more than $11,500.

“Mr. Marcum deeply regrets that he made the wrong decisions that led to the charges in this case. He has accepted responsibility and pleaded guilty,” said Marcum’s attorney, John Freeman of Troy, MI.

“Mr. Marcum looks forward to putting this matter behind him and moving forward as a productive, law-abiding citizen.

Weapons included smaller submachine guns, automatic assault rifles, and belt-fed machine guns for military use.

One was an M2 .50 caliber belt-fed heavy machine gun which, according to LaCourse’s indictment, is vehicle- or ship-mounted and effective against lightly armored vehicles and low-flying aircraft.

The village of Addyston has a population of around 1,000 and the Addyston Police Department has up to 10 officers, most of whom were part time.

Marcum and Petty each face up to five years in prison.

The court ordered a preliminary hearing to help decide their sentences.

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