CINCINNATI – A Cincinnati man was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 37 months in prison for illegally possessing a pistol that had been converted into an automatic weapon, which he used in self-defense during a shootout outside a restaurant.
“Even if you use the firearm in self-defense, it is illegal to possess an automatic weapon like the one used in this case, and you are breaking the law,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “My office will hold you accountable for these types of firearms and you will spend time in federal prison.”
Gionni Dews, 23, took the loaded, converted firearm to his job at IHOP in Oakley on Nov. 26, 2021.
At some point that evening, Dews got into a physical altercation with a coworker. Dews then walked off the job and waited outside for a friend to pick him up.
About 15 minutes after the initial altercation, an adult male confronted Dews and allegedly started shooting at him, striking Dews in the leg. Dews ran away while shooting back toward the other man, unloading more than 20 rounds in rapid succession. Some of the rounds hit the IHOP.
Dews’s friend arrived in an SUV, and Dews ran to the vehicle. The men then led police on a high-speed chase onto I-71. The driver of the SUV swerved into a guardrail as the SUV exited the expressway, and Dews threw the loaded gun out of the passenger window.
Dews was eventually driven to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was treated for a bullet wound in his leg.
Dews was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2022 and pleaded guilty in March 2022 to illegally possessing a machine gun.
Sentencing of defendants is determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.