U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesotaa
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
October 16, 2012
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney
Virginia, Minnesota, Man Indicted For Being A Felon In Possession Of A Firearm
MINNEAPOLIS – Yesterday in federal court, a 48-year-old Virginia, Minnesota, man was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm. John Carl Pape was charged with one count of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing, concealing and storing a stolen firearm.
The indictment alleges that on May 6, 2012, Pape possessed a Smith & Wesson, .38-caliber revolver. Because he is a felon, Pape is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His previous convictions include third-degree burglary in 1991 and 2004, fifth-degree possession of drugs in 2007 and 2008, and fifth-degree sale of marijuana in 1998. These previous convictions were all in St. Louis County, Minnesota.
Since at least three of Papes prior offenses constitute crimes of violence or major drug crimes, Pape is subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act if convicted in the current case. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. If convicted, Pape faces a potential maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison on one count of felon in possession of a firearm and ten years in prison on one count of possession, concealing, and storing a stolen firearm. All sentences are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.