Ryan Jerome was arrested and charged with felony gun possession in September during a visit to New York, after unknowingly violating the state’s tough gun laws. As charges pend against the Indiana resident, real-life criminals are permitted to sell illegal weapons to the city for cash, no questions asked, through a taxpayer-funded program.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, whose office is prosecuting Jerome, proudly promotes the “buyback” initiative. Jerome’s criminal saga began when he visited New York City with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry that he intended to sell. Jerome, once a U.S. Marine and now a jeweler, brought a gun for protection, mistakenly believing that New York would honor his Indiana concealed carry permit.
After voluntarily asking security personnel at the Empire State Building if he could check the gun, he was arrested — for the first time in his life — and spent two days in jail. Jerome’s attorney, Mark Bederow, released correspondence with the district attorney’s office this week, revealing that the government has offered Jerome a reduced charge — a Class A misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine and 10 days of community service.
But Bederow and Jerome are interested in a full dismissal of the case, not a mere reduction in the charges.