A prosecutor from the office of Maryland’s attorney general is pursuing two cases for gun crimes in St. Mary’s, and one California man’s case in Charles County, according to recently unveiled indictments filed last month.
Mack Julio-Berrios Swan, an assistant attorney general for the state who works in the department’s organized crime unit, is prosecuting the three cases in which the defendants are accused of possessing firearms and/or ammunition following disqualifying convictions.
St. Mary’s grand jurors handed down indictments last month charging Aaron Dale Marlow, 38, and Larry Phillip Shearin, 59, both of Hollywood, with illegally possessing firearms. In a Charles County case, Garry Wayne Morris, 30, of California is also charged with possessing a rifle while disqualified.
The attorney general’s criminal division often prosecutes illegal firearm possession cases when Maryland State Police investigation finds that individuals lied on firearm application forms, which ask if the applicant has been disqualified for several reasons.
Raquel Coombs, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, said in an email the state police gun center and attorney general’s criminal division work closely “in identifying and prosecuting cases in which prohibited persons falsify their applications or are believed to be in possession of firearms,” in addition to gun trafficking crimes.
Marlow faces two counts of felony rifle/shotgun possession with a felony conviction and a count of illegal possession of ammunition after allegedly possessing a regulated firearm with a conviction for a crime of violence.
Disqualifying crimes of violence which can lead to a felony rifle/shotgun possession with a felony conviction charge include misdemeanor convictions such as second-degree assault, as well as felonies such as murder, manslaughter, first-degree assault and first-, second- and third degree burglary, according to state law.
Shearin faces three counts of illegal possession of a firearm, eight counts of possessing a firearm while disqualified and illegal possession of ammunition, all of which are misdemeanor charges. His indictment notes that he is disqualified from owning a firearm because he is a “habitual drunkard.” A habitual drunkard is a person who has been found guilty of three alcohol-related offenses, one of which has occurred in the past year, according to the state police firearms application form.
Morris is charged with one count of possessing a firearm while disqualified, as he was convicted of second-degree escape in St. Mary’s in 2010 and allegedly possessed a firearm in Charles County earlier this year.
Marlow and Shearin were ordered to be held without bond in the detention center last month. Morris was charged by a criminal summons and is not being held.