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Posted: 1/18/2006 6:33:05 AM EDT
Three state troopers, local doctor face machine-gun charges


By JIM SUHR
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published Wednesday, January 18, 2006


FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS - Three Illinois State Police troopers have been suspended from their jobs after being accused with a Springfield-area doctor of illegally possessing machine guns, authorities announced Tuesday.


Troopers Greg Mugge, John Yard and James Vest each were charged last week with one count of illegally possessing a machine gun last year, as was Dr. Harold Griffiths, 69, of Spaulding. The U.S. attorney's office here unsealed the charges Tuesday.

Mugge, 51, of Jerseyville, is a senior master trooper with the state police in Litchfield. Vest, 39, of O'Fallon, is a sergeant in Collinsville. Yard, 36, of Collinsville, is a state police special agent in Collinsville who once worked for the FBI's public corruption task force in Fairview Heights, authorities said.

Griffiths, who recently lived in Glen Carbon, now practices medicine in Springfield, prosecutors said.

None of the affidavits accompanying the criminal complaints revealed Griffiths' possible connection to any of the police officers, other than the allegation that he had lent one of the guns to Yard in October. Interim U.S. Attorney Edward McNally refused to discuss details of the cases beyond the criminal complaints.

The troopers have been suspended with pay until formal charges are filed with the state police's merit review board, after which their leave would become unpaid, according to Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent.

The four were arraigned Tuesday in federal court in East St. Louis and released on their own recognizance, McNally said. None of entered a plea, pending preliminary hearings set for Feb. 10 or the presentation of the case to a grand jury, McNally's office said.

Each charge carries a possible 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, prosecutors said.

"While I'm very disappointed and deeply regret the judgment used by three of our officers, they are not above the law," Trent said during a news conference.

Trent said the three troopers could have lawfully possessed the machine guns if they had been assigned to them as part of their work duties but could not have them as private citizens.

John O'Gara, a Belleville attorney for Griffiths, said his client - a Vietnam veteran and former part-time California police officer - "has been an upstanding citizen his entire life and was obviously upstanding throughout this investigation."

"My client is a tremendous man and is at all times a gentleman," O'Gara said, deferring comment about the specific charges.

The troopers could not be reached for comment, and it was not known whether they had hired attorneys yet.

www.sj-r.com/sections/news/stories/76426.asp
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:39:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:14:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LEO916:


+
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:58:26 AM EDT
wonder what kind of machine guns they are
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:05:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 9:05:37 AM EDT by wise_jake]

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
wonder what kind of machine guns they are


More "info" () in the GD thread here.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:24:39 AM EDT
(dupe from the other post, but I know many of us don't go to GD world...
[


Originally Posted By legalese77:
Mugge and Griffiths both are accused of owning Colt AR-15 SP1 models, with Mugge's able to fire as an automatic weapon when a piece of metal was inserted and Griffiths' illegally converted to fire automatically. Authorities said Vest owned a Colt M4-M16 A2E designed to operate as a machine gun. The gun was purchased in 1998 from a California dealer.



DIAS?

And here, this bust just happens to take place when Blago and Hizzoner are talking about an IL AWB... anybody here believe in coincidence?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 12:19:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 12:20:34 PM EDT by wise_jake]

Originally Posted By Tango7:
(dupe from the other post, but I know many of us don't go to GD world...
[


Originally Posted By legalese77:
Mugge and Griffiths both are accused of owning Colt AR-15 SP1 models, with Mugge's able to fire as an automatic weapon when a piece of metal was inserted and Griffiths' illegally converted to fire automatically. Authorities said Vest owned a Colt M4-M16 A2E designed to operate as a machine gun. The gun was purchased in 1998 from a California dealer.


DIAS?

And here, this bust just happens to take place when Blago and Hizzoner are talking about an IL AWB... anybody here believe in coincidence?


Think you nailed it, Tango. Also goes to show that the pols will even use the boys (and girls) in blue to "make an example" out of their lessers.


ETA: My post from the other thread, for posterity: "In my wettest dreams, these officers are good men, the good dr is bankrolling, and there are a couple of rich old codgers (who are also 2A/RKBA lawyers) pulling the strings behind the scenes. "
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:32:17 PM EDT
dupe-a-dupe.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:50:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 5:51:12 AM EDT by wise_jake]
Is it really a "dupe" if it's in both BOTS and GD?

There's usually a different "flavor" to the discussion in both places, to say the least.

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