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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 3/9/2006 11:53:31 AM EST
Trooper is accused of falsifying letter

Trooper is accused of falsifying letter
Allegedly received machine gun illegally

EAST ST. LOUIS - Suspended Illinois state trooper James Vest confessed that he falsified a letter on official police stationery to buy an illegal automatic rifle, according to a prosecution document filed in federal court.

And when the weapon arrived in a box addressed to Vest at the Collinsville District 11 State Police headquarters, "he did not open it for several days because he knew what he had done was illegal," Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Crowe III wrote in a motion opposing a defense request that Vest's statements be thrown out.

Vest's attorney, Clyde Kuehn of Belleville, a former appellate court justice, earlier filed a motion to suppress his client's alleged statements on grounds they were "coerced, involuntary and unconstitutional."

A hearing is scheduled today before U.S. District Court Judge David Herndon, who must decide whether Vest's oral statement to a federal investigator in December can be admitted as evidence in the case against him.

Vest, 39, of O'Fallon, is one of three state troopers charged with weapons violations. They are alleged to have illegally owned rifles that can fire fully automatic or are capable of being altered to fire automatically. An automatic rifle is one that keeps firing as long as the trigger is depressed.

Charged were troopers Greg Mugge, 51, of Jerseyville and John Yard, 36, assigned to the trooper headquarters in Litchfield.

The troopers have been suspended with pay until a hearing before a state merit review board.

Also charged was former Glen Carbon physician Dr. Harold Griffiths, now of Spaulding. All have pleaded not guilty and were released.

The prosecution contends in their motion that Vest, while in an interview room at the Collinsville State Police headquarters, began to prepare a written statement about an automatic rifle that had been retrieved that day from his home, but then stopped and said he should first consult a lawyer.

According to a prosecution summary of Vest's statements to Special Agent Robert Nosbisch of the federal department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the trooper was informed of his rights and willingly spoke to investigators.

The summary stated that Vest used $900 of his own money to obtain a cashier's check that he used to pay for the rifle, which prosecutors describe as a machine gun. The weapon was sent by a Los Angeles dealer.

The prosecution documents allege that Vest "submitted an Illinois State Police tax exemption letter in conjunction with the letter he composed on ISP letterhead."

Vest, who is a trained weapons instructor, was a member of the State Police Tactical Response Team when he allegedly ordered the automatic rifle by mail in 1998.

"Vest went on to explain that he had utilized Illinois State Police letterhead to compose a letter to obtain the machine gun. Vest stated that the ISP did not authorize him to purchase the machine gun," the summary stated.

Contact reporter George Pawlaczyk at gpawlaczyk@bnd.com or 239-2625.

Belleville News
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 2:36:12 PM EST
I wish everybody on this board could get a paid vacation, or forced leave of absence. Paid.

Sucks all the way around though. It's coming back to him .
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 4:05:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By P08:

Ok, I have inside information on this. Seems that the cop that originally got busted was out shooting his MG at a public range. Unbeknownst to him shooting in the next bay was a BATFE agent. When he heard the automatic fire he asked to see the paperwork. I guess something smelled fishy and he checked with ISP and found that this guy was NOT supposed to have that gun. Upon further investigation he found that they had forged ISP letterhead with a forged signature from a ISP director. When ATF confronted the first cop he rolled on the others. The rest is now soon to be history.

I find their actions incredible! I am a C3 in Illinois and followed the rules in order to get the toys that I have. Keep in mind I also follow the law and buy and sell them as well. But to think that $530 a year and no problems! Incredibly stupid!

Remember that I posted this same information January 18th!www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=428664
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