Friend of Dayton gunman Conner Betts pleads guilty to federal firearms charges

iStock(KETTERING, Ohio) — The friend of the gunman who killed nine people in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio, in August has pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kettering, Ohio, resident Ethan Kollie, 24, pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally possessing firearms and lying on federal firearms forms at the federal courthouse for the Southern District of Ohio in Cincinnati, according to the DOJ news release.

Federal prosecutors accused Kollie of lying on the form to purchase his own firearm as well as body armor, a 100-round drum magazine and an unregulated accessory for an AR-15 weapon that gunman Connor Betts used during the shooting, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Ohio in August.

On Aug. 4, 24-year-old Conner Betts opened fire in Dayton’s Oregon District, killing nine people, including his sister, and injuring 17 more. The entirety of the massacre lasted just 32 seconds when Betts was killed by a police officer.

As part of his guilty plea, Kollie acknowledged that he checked the “no” box for question 11e on the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, which asks “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” despite being a user of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms, according to the release.

“Kollie answered falsely because he knew he would not be able to obtain the micro Draco pistol if he answered truthfully,” the release states.

During a search of Kollie’s residence after the shooting, law enforcement officers recovered the pistol which was loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, as well as marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, additional weapons, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and equipment to grow psychedelic mushrooms, according to the DOJ.

Kollie also indicated to the FBI and ATF during an interview that he had purchased items for Betts, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman told reporters at a press conference in August.

In a statement to ABC News, Kollie’s defense attorney Nick Gounaris said he “takes full responsibility for the actions that are contained in the statement of facts.”

“He looks forward to moving on with his life, and he’s glad to get this offense behind him,” Gounaris said.

The charges warrant a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Kollie’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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