Man pleads guilty to selling 184 guns used in drug dealing BALTIMORE CITY

May 14, 1993|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

An Arbutus man has admitted to illegally selling 184 handguns -- most of them semiautomatic weapons -- to a man who put them into the hands of drug dealers.

Otis W. Cutler Jr., 31, pleaded guilty to one felony violation before Judge Frederic N. Smalkin in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Wednesday. A plea agreement requires him to spend 15 to 27 months in prison. Sentencing was set for Aug. 25.

His co-defendant, Wilton U. Caver, 30, of Baltimore, is scheduled to go on trial next month on federal charges of knowingly selling guns for use in drug trafficking.

Cutler pleaded guilty to receiving a firearm while knowing that he was under indictment on another charge.

He was arrested on Feb. 11 on a state grand jury indictment, but he continued to buy and sell guns, said Douglas B. Farquhar, an assistant U.S. attorney.

Mr. Farquhar said he would seek a 27-month sentence for Cutler because he was aware of Mr. Caver's alleged association with drug traffickers.

"He should get the stiffer penalty because he had reason to believe the guns were being used for drug dealing," Mr. Farquhar said.

The investigation of Cutler and Mr. Caver resulted from arrests in January of eight people charged with selling cocaine, according to a court affidavit filed by Special Agent Richard Young of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Two semiautomatic weapons were recovered in those arrests.

Agent Young traced the weapons to Diversified Instruments, a business run by Cutler.

Cutler had an ATF license to sell firearms, but the weapons had not been registered in Maryland State Police files as required.

Investigators discovered that Cutler had ordered 184 weapons from gun distributors over a four-month period beginning in October. Weapons were delivered to Diversified by United Parcel Service.

"Fifteen of these weapons have been recovered by Baltimore City police in crimes such as murder, narcotics and assault," said Margaret M. Moore, special agent in charge of the ATF's Baltimore office. "We are concerned that these weapons will be used in violent crimes."

Cutler tried to disguise his gun dealing by selling his weapons to a Virginia firearms licensee and then using a Virginia license to buy back the weapons as an individual purchaser, according to the affidavit.

"What he was trying to do was to circumvent federal law on keeping records," Ms. Moore said.

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