(TX) Man guilty on arms charge (paper states weapons weren't registered)


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Drizzt
December 31, 2002, 03:35 PM
Copyright 2002 Star-Telegram Newspaper, Inc.

Fort Worth Star Telegram


December 30, 2002, Monday NORTHEAST EDITION

SECTION: METRO; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 624 words

HEADLINE: Man guilty on arms charge

BYLINE: BEN TINSLEY; Star-Telegram Staff Writer

HIGHLIGHT:
PLEA: A Keller man faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge related to weapons found at his home in October.

BODY:
A 43-year-old Keller man who was found in possession of grenade launchers, rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition and 9.9 grams of methamphetamine in October has reached a plea agreement with federal authorities.

Dale Kelley Johns, identified by Keller police as a computer
technician and a Navy veteran, pleaded guilty this month to a count of unlawful possession of destructive devices, a federal charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to court
documents.

Johns will be sentenced March 14 in the court of U.S. District
Judge John McBryde. In exchange for his cooperation, the federal government will drop a second charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances. Johns was indicted on the two counts Nov. 6 by a federal grand jury.

Johns could also be fined as much as $250,000 and sentenced to a term of supervised release for up to three years.

Keller police Lt. Tommy Williams said local authorities will not
pursue state charges against Johns.

"We have released all of our charges because of the federal
prosecution," he said. "It's one of those situations where there
were so many federal charges, and he had just the one [state]
narcotics charge."

When Johns was arrested, he was awaiting trial on charges of
unlawfully carrying a weapon and intoxication manslaughter, for
which he was arrested in July, federal court records show. The
status of those cases, which originated in Grand Prairie, was
unavailable Friday.

Johns was in federal custody Friday in Mansfield, a spokesman
for the U.S. Marshals Service said. His federal public defense
attorney, Daniel Wannamaker, could not be reached at his office and has an unlisted home telephone number.

State and federal authorities seized the weapons and drugs Oct.
8 from Johns' home in the 500 block of La Vena Street in Keller
after trash collectors found 32 inert grenades in Johns' trash,
along with what was believed to be the threaded head to an
artillery shell, court records show.

Authorities found drugs, thousands of rounds of ammunition and
paraphernalia used to make explosives, such as powders, pipes and fuses. They also found 16 weapons, including a 9 mm pistol, an AK-47 rifle, two grenade launchers, two metal pipes with threaded end caps and fuses, and a large amount of explosive powder, according to court documents and ATF spokesman Tom Crowley.

The explosive powder was taken from Johns' garage and detonated on vacant property south of Bourland Cemetery on Bourland Road, Williams said.

Keller police contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, military specialists from Fort Hood and a Northeast
Tarrant County explosives team. Authorities spent more than six
hours searching Johns' property.

Johns told authorities that he was using half an ounce of
methamphetamine every day, according to federal court documents. Johns was separated from his wife and was living in an apartment above his garage while she and his three daughters lived in the adjacent house, court records show.

None of the weapons found in his residence was registered with
federal authorities, court records show.

According to the transcript of an Oct. 17 hearing, Johns
indicated that he had purchased the weapons about three years ago from an Internet weapons dealer and picked them up at a gun and pawn shop in Irving.

At the time of his arrest, Johns told authorities that he had
been interested in building rockets. However, authorities said the
powders and chemicals found in his home were not consistent with such construction.
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OK, which of his weapons was supposed to have been registered? Admittedly, this guy wasn't the brightest around, doing meth like that, but unlawful possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances looks like it was the only charge that was realistic. Maybe we're just not seeing the whole story.....

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Preacherman
December 31, 2002, 04:07 PM
Not really, Drizzt...... Johns ... pleaded guilty this month to a count of unlawful possession of destructive devicestrash collectors found 32 inert grenades in Johns' trash, along with what was believed to be the threaded head to an artillery shell, court records show ... Authorities found drugs, thousands of rounds of ammunition and paraphernalia used to make explosives, such as powders, pipes and fusesI think that's where the charge about destructive devices came from - even the inert grenades count as a destructive device, according to Federal law.When Johns was arrested, he was awaiting trial on charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon and intoxication manslaughter, for which he was arrested in July, federal court records show.I guess that's where the "second charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances", dropped by the Feds, came from.None of the weapons found in his residence was registered with federal authoritiesI guess that simply means that he hadn't bought them from FFL holders using a Form 4473. It doesn't say that he had committed some sort of offence by not registering them - and besides, there is no law saying that they must be registered (unless some of them were Class 2 or 3 firearms, of course... the article doesn't make this clear).

El Tejon
December 31, 2002, 06:11 PM
NFA violation.

Preach, you mean Title II weapon. No Form 4 which provides the registration.

Blackhawk
December 31, 2002, 07:09 PM
Well, we've got the feds, the state, and trash collectors all tangled up in this report by the Star-Telegram, home paper of the caught and confessed plagiarist Molly Ivins.

IMO, it's definitely a case of "It's more complicated than that." I doubt that we'll see any followups since Johns copped a plea.

Standing Wolf
December 31, 2002, 10:02 PM
Quote: When Johns was arrested, he was awaiting trial on charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon and intoxication manslaughter, for which he was arrested in July, federal court records show. The status of those cases, which originated in Grand Prairie, was unavailable Friday.

I think one or two pieces of the puzzle aren't on the table.

Art Eatman
January 1, 2003, 01:39 AM
I believe the feds now have it that if you have drugs and a firearm, that's a felony in and of itself...

Art

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