(AL) Guardsman Sentenced In Gun Smuggling Case


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Drizzt
May 12, 2003, 06:35 PM
Guardsman Sentenced In Gun Smuggling Case
Pinson Native Only Declares 10 Of 21 Guns At Customs

POSTED: 3:11 p.m. CDT May 9, 2003

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- An Alabama Air National Guardsman will spend one year in federal prison for smuggling 21 Turkish shotguns into the country on a military aircraft.

Federal Judge Sharon Blackburn handed the sentence Thursday to 40-year-old Tech Sgt. Steve Owens, of Pinson. The 22-year veteran served with the 117th Air Refueling Wing.

Prosecutors said Owens bought the weapons for $7,000 while he was on temporary assignment at a U.S. air base in Turkey in February of 2002.

Upon his return to Birmingham, Owens declared only 10 shotguns to customs agents. Three of the guns were sold to a Birmingham businessman.

Federal law allows military personnel to import firearms for personal use with approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- but not for resale.

An Air National Guard spokesman said an administration board of officers will meet to determine whether Owens would be allowed to remain a guardsman.

He was ordered to report to the U.S. Marshals Service on July 14.

http://www.nbc13.com/news/2194033/detail.html

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