COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A suspended Ohio National Guard member, who was previously charged with making terroristic threats against a Jewish school in April, has been arrested by federal agents for making and selling “ghost guns.”
U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker announced Wednesday that Thomas Develin, 24, was arrested on charges related to making homemade guns that were made whole or in part with a 3D printer. Develin allegedly made the guns to sell and had devices to convert rifles and pistols into fully automatic machine guns. Agents found more than 25 firearms in his residence in March during a search warrant.
According to former FBI agent Harry Trombitas, ghost guns are becoming more popular on the streets as a way for criminals to avoid background checks, which is a major concern for law enforcement. The guns lack serial numbers, making them difficult to trace.
“When you make these kinds of weapons available and you sell them online to other like-minded thinking individuals, you’re now putting a firearm potentially in the hands of someone who is forbidden from having a firearm, so they are skirting the federal laws,” he said.
In April, Develin was indicted after police said he made a terroristic threat against the Jewish K-12 school Columbus Torah Academy where he was a private security guard. According to court documents, Develin posted a photo on social media holding a handgun and a caption that read, “I’m at a Jewish school and about to make it everyone’s problem.”
On April 14, Develin was ordered under house arrest after paying a bond of $125,000 in Franklin County common pleas court.
Develin remains suspended from the Ohio National Guard, a spokesperson said in an email. Once his criminal case ends, the spokesperson said the guard will determine the appropriate discipline or administrative action.
According to an affidavit filed, Develin’s social media activity on the applications Discord and Snapchat consisted of a large quantity of hateful content using the name Patrick Bateman, the fictional character of the novel American Psycho.
Develin is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court Wednesday.
JewishColumbus released a statement reacting to the charges against Develin. It reads:
JewishColumbus is aware Thomas Develin has been arrested and indicted on new federal charges. We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice for monitoring this individual, as he posed a serious threat to harm our community this past April.
Securing our community is the top priority at JewishColumbus and we will continue, in partnership with CTA, to advocate the concerns of our community to the court system. JewishColumbus and CTA has been closely following Develin’s case in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and were disappointed when he had been granted modified parole. We feel Develin is a threat to our community and hope with these new charges he will remain locked up until his day in court.
We remain grateful to law enforcement officials at the local, state and national agencies for their continued support. Their training, planning and professionalism stopped the threat.
We are a proud and diverse Jewish community. We stand resolute against antisemitism and remain committed to safeguarding our institutions. It is our right to live peacefully as Jews and we will not cower to intimidation. Our Jewish community is here to stay and we will not be silenced.