NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man was convicted Wednesday, Sept. 13, on charges involving firearms, cocaine and loan fraud.
38-year-old Ian Ishmel Bonas was convicted for sale of cocaine and firearms, distribution of cocaine, use of a firearm in the commission of narcotics trafficking, being a felon in possession of a firearm and fraudulently receiving $83,330 in Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans in 2021.
Between 2021 and 2022, Bonas was apprehended by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or ATF, agents after being in a scheme involving a group of co-conspirators who distributed around one kilogram of cocaine and 15 firearms, according to court documents.
In the summer of 2021, Bonas participated in four purchases involving three firearms, two of which were stolen, and approximately 3.5 ounces of cocaine, according to a release.
He was also identified as a prolific distributor of crack cocaine in Norfolk and Virginia Beach during the same period, according to a release.
Through bank records, ATF agents discovered that Bonas received four Small Business Administration-guaranteed PPP loans of $20,833 each. Bonas spent the money on various personal expenses including: the purchase of a luxury vehicle, restaurant and bar tabs, clothing, jewelry, sports gambling and over $16,800 on rental cars, according to a release.
Congress authorized PPP loans under the CARES Act as a source of funds to allow small businesses to continue making payroll and other business-related expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bonas also obtained forgiveness of the $83,330 in loans using the same fraudulent data.
He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 16, 2024.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.