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Norfolk man convicted of drug, firearm and fraudulent PPP loan charges

Bonas was convicted on Wednesday of drug, gun charges and fraudulently receiving $83,330 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2021.

NORFOLK, Va. — A Norfolk man was convicted of drug, firearm and COVID fraud charges on Wednesday, says the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

A federal judge convicted Ian Ishmel Bonas of Norfolk on Wednesday on charges involving the sale of cocaine and firearms, distribution of cocaine, use of a firearm during narcotics trafficking, being a felon while possessing a firearm, and fraudulently receiving $83,330 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2021.

According to court records and evidence, Bonas participated in four controlled purchases in the summer of 2021 in which he purchased three firearms, two of which had been stolen, and about 3.5 ounces of cocaine.

Bonas was also identified as a prolific distributor of crack cocaine in Norfolk and Virginia Beach between 2021 and 2022.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents also discovered through bank records that Bonas received four PPP loans of $20,833 reach and spent that money on various personal expenses such as a luxury vehicle, restaurant tabs, clothing, sports gambling, etc. 

Bonas got forgiveness for the loans using the same fraudulent information.

Bonas faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on January 16, 2024. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherrie S. Capotosto is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

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