Gun Possession Sends Local Man to Prison

The following is a news release from the US Attorney:

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - United States Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling announced today that LON PERRY EDGE, age 39, of Soper, Oklahoma was sentenced to forty-four (44) months imprisonment.

“This prison sentence is not subject to parole,” reported U.S. Attorney Sperling. “The federal sentencing court also ordered a 36-month term of supervised release to follow the prison sentence.”

“On January 4, 2006, EDGE was found guilty by a federal trial jury on two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and one count of possession of ammunition by a prohibited person,” U.S.

Attorney Sperling informed. “The defendant could not lawfully possess a gun because he was subject to a Choctaw County Court order of restraint from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner.”

“On July 5, 2005, the defendant was subject, after actual notice and a hearing, to a court order that he not threaten, abuse, assault, injure, harass, or stalk the victim. He was then in illegal possession of a .45 caliber pistol, a 12 gauge shotgun, and 40 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition.”

“On September 21, 2005, he was still subject to the restraining order when he illegally possessed another 12 gauge shotgun.”

The charges arose from an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The defendant had possessed firearms and ammunition after being served with a protective order.

“On July 5, 2005, law enforcement officers responded to a report that the defendant had pointed a gun at the victim,” recalled United States Attorney Sperling. “Choctaw County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a complaint that the defendant had feloniously pointed a firearm at the victim. While the deputies searched the area, they were forced off the road by a vehicle driving left of center. The deputies stopped the vehicle driven by the defendant, and immediately observed a loaded Colt .45 caliber handgun and a shotgun on the front seat next to the defendant. A box of .45 caliber ammunition was also located in the truck. The defendant was observed to have an odor of alcohol. Additional ammunition was located in the vehicle.”

“At the time of the traffic stop the deputies were aware of a protective order against the defendant. The protective order had been issued after the defendant’s ex-wife petitioned the court. The defendant was alleged to have threatened to burn down the victim’s house. Her house had, in fact, burned down a short time later. The petition also indicated that the defendant threatened her life, had taken her property, and had let her cows and horses out. The defendant had also been convicted of violating the protective order in two separate cases in Choctaw County,” noted U.S. Attorney Sperling.

“After receiving information relating to the traffic stop and protective order, the BATFE investigated the case and presented it in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma,” continued U. S. Attorney Sperling. “A complaint and warrant were issued and served for the defendant’s arrest.”

“A second contact with the defendant occurred when special agents with BATFE and the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Deputies executed the warrant for arrest. At the time of his arrest, the defendant possessed another shotgun in his bedroom.”

“Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm by a person who is subject to a protective order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, or engaging in conduct that would place that person in fear of bodily injury. Federal law requires that the defendant be given notice of a hearing and an opportunity to be heard before the court issues the order. The order must also recite that the defendant poses a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or, the order must prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against an intimate partner,” concluded U.S. Attorney Sperling.

Assistant United States Attorney Dean Burris represented the United States at trial and at today’s sentencing. The Honorable Ronald A. White presided over today’s sentencing in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, at Muskogee.