An Ellettsville gun shop has been shuttered and its owner taken into custody following a lengthy federal investigation.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett says 61-year old Donald Mullendore had been under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since January of this year for allegedly selling guns to convicted felons and failing to perform criminal background checks.
In addition, Hogsett says Mullendore failed to keep records of each sale, as required by federal law.
“He is alleged to have said during one encounter with a confidential informant,” Hogsett said, “that he did not believe in paperwork – federally required reporting – he did not believe in paperwork because that would be, quote, ‘telling the government where you got your gun.’”
A charging affidavit also alleges Mullendore sold seven guns to federal informants, including one unregistered Cobray nine-millimeter machine gun.
“While Mullendore was counting the money for the purchase of the machine gun,” he said, “Mr. Mullendore was reported to have told the confidential informant, quote, ‘God always gives us the guns to sell and the people who need to receive them.’”
Hogsett says Mullendore reportedly admitted destroying all the paperwork he was supposed to keep on file, telling the informant he didn’t care about the consequences.
“Clearly Mr. Mullendore showed no desire to comply with even the most basic federal reporting requirements,” he said, “and flaunted that attitude on several different occasions.”
Mullendore’s shop has been closed and all the firearms in it seized. The charges against him could result in a ten-year prison term and a fine of as much as a quarter-million dollars.