Franklin County Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Making False Statement in Attempt to Purchase a Firearm Was Subject to Domestic Violence Orders
FRANKFORT, Ky. – On Tuesday, Joshua Bybee, 23, of Frankfort, Kentucky, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove for making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm.
Bybee had previously pleaded guilty to one count involving the making of a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. On January 14, 2019, Bybee entered Dan’s Discount Jewelry and Pawn in Frankfort, a federally licensed firearms dealer, and attempted to purchase a 9mm pistol. In his attempt, Bybee represented that he was not legally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm when, in fact, he was subject to two separate domestic violence orders from two different individuals. Both domestic violence orders restrained Bybee from harassing, stalking, or threatening individuals covered under the order. Additionally, both orders prohibited the Bybee from possessing a firearm while each order was in effect. Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic violence orders. The business declined to sell the firearm to Bybee after a background check revealed the domestic violence orders.
Bybee must serve 85 percent of his 18 month sentence. Upon completion of his imprisonment, he will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for a period of three years.
“The making of false statements in an attempt to obtain a firearm is a serious felony offense, especially when the person is prohibited for possessing firearms by domestic violence orders,” said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. “The defendant attempted to conceal the existence of his domestic violence orders by misrepresenting his status to the federally licensed firearms dealer. Fortunately, the background check worked; it prevented the sale, kept the firearm out of the hands of a an individual already subject to two court orders due to violence, and helped prevent a more dangerous situation.”
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Tommy Estevan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division, jointly made the announcement.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
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Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Kentucky