Ellettsville gun seller arrested after tipoff, 7 month investigation

Law enforcement received a tip in January that Donald Mullendore, 61 of Ellettsville, might be selling firearms in violation of federal law.

A criminal investigation then followed, according to a press release from the office of the U.S. District Attorney for Southern Indiana, Joesph Hogsett.  

An informant and undercover police officers purchased seven guns illegally between January and July of this year, including a machine gun, according to the release.

No criminal background checks were issued on the purchases, as is required by federal law.

Four of the firearms were sold directly to the informant even after the informant told Mullendore that he was a convicted felon, which is against federal law.

A search warrant and an arrest warrant were served Tuesday. Mullendore was arrested and all the weapons at his gun shop were seized. He is charged with selling firearms to a convicted felon and unlawfully selling a machine gun.

None of the necessary paperwork was filled out for the purchases.

During a conversation with the informant about the machine gun purchase, Mullendore is alleged to have said he did not believe in paperwork because “all you are doing is telling the government where you got your guns,” the press release and affidavit said.

"I destroyed all my paper and I just don’t care, I’m going to give people the guns they need. This is God’s shop and what he wants to do with it is going to happen,” Mullendore said.

During another purchase, Mullendore went into his safe and retrieved a Cobray 9 mm machine gun. When the informant told him he was a convicted felon for battery, Mullendore sold the weapon to him anyway.

While counting the money for the weapon, Mullendore told the informant, “God always gives us the guns to sell and people who need them.”

The informant then asked if Mullendore had any more machine guns. Mullendore replied that he would talk to “his guy” to see if he could make any more. “I think everybody ought to have one.”

Mullendore faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

— Zach Ammerman

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