DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A friend of the Oregon District mass shooter was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 32 months in prison for illegally possessing firearms and lying on a federal firearms form.
A judge handed down the 32 month sentence for two counts, to be served concurrently. He also faces three years of probation once he leaves prison, and will receive mental health and substance abuse counseling.
24-year-old Ethan Kollie, of Kettering, pleaded guilty to the counts in November of 2019.
Kollie’s attorney argues the charges he faced are hardly ever prosecuted as standalone charges, and maintains that Kollie had zero involvement in the shooting.
“They are serious charges, but the question then is, if they are so serious, why don’t the U.S. Attorneys Office across the country prosecute just those. The statistics from 2017 indicate that they aren’t, so they aren’t considering them as serious, and here they do. Is the question because, now they’re taking a stand on it? Or is it because there’s something else,” said defense attorney Nick Gounaris.
Kollie was interviewed on August 4 in connection with the mass shooting earlier in the day.
Law enforcement searched his residence and discovered a micro Draco pistol loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, additional weapons, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and psychedelic mushroom grow equipment.
Investigators determined that Kollie lied on an ATF form asking if he was an unlawful user or addict to marijuana or any other controlled substance.
At various times, Kollie illegally possessed four firearms in total: the micro Draco pistol, a 9mm handgun, a 38 Special revolver, and an AM-15 semi-automatic rifle. The micro Draco pistol and the AM-15 are both semi-automatic weapons and could accept more than 15 rounds of ammunition.
Investigators say Kollie helped Betts assemble the AM-15 used in the mass shooting and the two practiced firing the gun at a local shooting range. The assembly and practice constitute two separate illegal possessions by Kollie of the gun.
Prosecutors spoke with 2 NEWS following the judge’s decision, saying, “There is no pleasure to be taken.”
“The two crimes that Mr. Kollie pled guilty to and for which received the sentence today, are inextricably intertwined with the events of August 4, as I advocated in court and as I’m saying today,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel.
“Kollie will forever be connected to the tragic events of August 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers. “He bought the upper receiver to the AM-15, a 100-round double drum magazine and body armor for Betts. We will chase down the origins of all weapons used in violence and hold all accountable for their crimes.”