Feds seek forfeiture of over 1,000 guns from Jennings County man

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The federal indictment of a Jennings County man contains an image of the trunk nearly completely full with guns, including an assault rifle, and a list of 141 weapons that authorities said they seized from the North Vernon suspect.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of just more than 1,000 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and an SUV from a Jennings County man who has been accused of selling hundreds of thousands of dollars in firearms without a license to two individuals who allegedly arranged to transport the weapons to Mexico.

The property, which allegedly belongs to David Joseph Mull, 51, of North Vernon, includes around 360 rifles, 249 revolvers, 225 shotguns, 176 pistols and three handguns, as well as nearly 500 rounds of ammunition and a 2017 Honda Pilot, according to a request filed in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by prosecutors, who alleged that the property is subject to forfeiture.

The judge presiding over the case had not issued any rulings on the request as of Friday morning. The criminal case is set to go to trial in February.

The request from prosecutors comes just over five months after Mull was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of dealing firearms without a license, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to five years, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that Mull had been acquiring firearms from gun shows and individuals in southern Indiana and elsewhere to sell to, among others, two people identified as “Individual A” and “Individual B.”

From September 2019 to March 2023, Mull allegedly sold more than 500 guns to Individual A for more than $350,000, the indictment states.

In February, Mull allegedly learned that Individual A and Individual B had transported the guns he sold to Individual A to New York so that they could be taken to Mexico.

In mid-February, Mull contacted Individual B to arrange another sale, sending text messages to the unnamed individual, stating “Got ya a few more today. Could you use a 5.56 caliber AK?” and “I picked you up an AR15, AK47, two 9mm pistols and a 389 today,” according to the indictment.

Individual B told Mull that he or she had a buyer in Mexico who was interested in the guns, where the weapons would be transported after the sale.

In early March, Mull met with Individual B to complete the sale of around 90 guns, which were loaded into the trunk of Individual B’s vehicle. Individual B paid $56,850 for the guns.

The indictment contains an image of the trunk nearly completely full with guns, including an assault rifle, and a list of 141 weapons that authorities said they seized from Mull, including 98 pistols, 18 rifles, 11 AK-style rifles, six AR-style rifles, six revolvers and two shotguns.

During the sale, Individual B allegedly asked Mull why he did not have a brick-and-mortar business. Mull’s reply: “Like a store? I don’t want nobody to know. I’m probably like you, I don’t want nobody to know about it.”

“Hopefully we can continue to do a bunch of business, I’ll keep on getting stuff,” Mull allegedly told Individual B.

Currently, Mull is on pretrial release after an initial hearing in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A plea of not guilty has been entered on Mull’s behalf.

Under the terms of the pretrial release, Mull must submit to supervision by the U.S. Pretrial Services Agency and is barred from possessing firearms or from traveling outside southern or central Indiana without prior approval.

Guy Relford, Mull’s attorney, is the chief executive of The 2A Project, an organization that opposes any limitation or restriction on gun ownership for law-abiding citizens, according to its website.

The organization drafted a resolution that was used by others in an unsuccessful attempt in 2020 to persuade Bartholomew County officials to declare the county a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Mull, for his part, initially came to the attention of authorities several years before being indicted, federal records show.

On May 24, 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives provided Mull with a “warning notice of unlicensed firearms dealing in violation of federal law,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Republic.