COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nicholas T. Billman, 20, of Flushing, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 264 months in prison for brandishing a machine gun while he robbed a general store in Freeport, Ohio on October 22, 2015.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Harrison County Sheriff Ronald J. Myers announced the sentence handed down yesterday by Senior U.S. District Judge James L. Graham.
Billman pleaded guilty in September to one count of robbery of a business that is engaged in interstate commerce and one count of carrying and brandishing a machine gun during a crime of violence.
Testimony during the plea hearing confirmed that Billman entered the Hilltop General Store brandishing an AK-47 type rifle. Billman wore a handgun holstered on his right hip and a sheathed knife on his left hip. He robbed the store of cash and cigarettes then fled. A witness followed Billman but stopped after Billman fired three shots toward him.
Acting on information received from the public and other witnesses, investigators obtained a warrant and searched Billman’s residence two days later. They found an AK-47 similar to the one used in the robbery as well as other firearms and evidence indicating that Billman had committed the crimes. Forensic tests determined that the weapon was fully automatic. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Billman on state charges, then contacted ATF to pursue federal charges. A federal grand jury indicted Billman in February 2016. He has been in custody since sheriff’s deputies arrested him.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Prichard, who is representing the United States in this case.