Suspicions that led to a weapons charge being filed against a Virginia Beach gun owner have been put to rest. Prosecutors say the man obtained the weapon legitimately, and if he stays out of trouble for a year, he won't face any jail time.
The 34-year-old man had been facing multiple charges after a traffic stop late last year. The impetus for the stop apparently was suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. According to reports, after being stopped for the suspected DUI, officers seized a handgun he had been carrying. The man was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI, refusing to take a blood test and possession of a concealed weapon while intoxicated.
What sparked questions about the gun in the first place is the fact that part of one of three serial numbers on the weapon had been obliterated. Investigators managed to recover the number, though, and when they did, they determined that that particular part of the weapon had come from a gun that had been seized after a 2007 drug bust in Norfolk.
How it got out of department hands and onto the handgun seized in this man's case is still a mystery and is being investigated. But prosecutors say they have no indications that the man picked up on the suspected DUI didn't know anything about it.
As the result of an apparent plea agreement, the defendant pleaded guilty this week to DUI. The court sentenced him to one year in jail, but suspended the sentence. Another part of the deal requires the man to go through an alcohol treatment program. If he goes a year without further run-ins with police, the concealed weapons charge and the one for refusing to take the breath test will both be dismissed.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot, "No jail for owner of gun that had shady background," Patrick Wilson, Feb. 7, 2013
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