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Gainesville father and son plead guilty in attempt to run guns to Mexico

A Gainesville father and son pleaded guilty earlier this month to attempting to smuggle shotguns, rifles, and pistols through Hall County to Mexico.  

Othon Marban, Sr. 56, and Othon Marban, Jr. 20, were arrested Dec. 3 after the Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies pulled over a truck heading south on Interstate 985 for traffic violations and found 51 guns “wrapped in cellophane,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Othon Marban Sr.
Othon Marban Sr.
Othon Marban Jr.
Othon Marban Jr.

The two pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer firearms to an out-of-state resident and making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer. The elder Marban entered his plea May 9, and his son pleaded Monday, May 16. Sentencing is still pending.

According to their plea agreements, the maximum sentence is five years for the conspiracy charge and 10 years on the false statements charge. There is no mandatory minimum prison sentence for either charge.

The two Marbans “admitted that they were en route to Mexico with the firearms,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

“Further investigation of the defendants revealed that they previously purchased additional guns and that they traveled to Mexico earlier in 2021,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The two men were indicted Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court.

“This case is a perfect example of how our agencies work in concert to keep our communities safe,” Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “I applaud our deputies for being alert as they were patrolling I-985, which is the busiest primary corridor in our county. They saw a problem with a basic traffic violation and pulled over the offender. As a result, we were able to get dozens of illegal weapons off our streets.”

The indictment alleged the Marbans bought 28 firearms between May and November from Outdoor Depot, Georgia Gun Store, Academy Sports, Foxhole Gun and Archery and Dawsonville Gun and Pawn.

Defense attorneys Kimberly Sharkey and Mark Jeffrey did not immediately return requests for comment Monday, May 16.