Pocatello Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Sawed-off Shotgun
POCATELLO – Michael Anthony Otero, 44, of Pocatello, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Pocatello to possessing an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, on October 9, 2011, the pickup truck Otero was driving in Power County, Idaho, was stopped by an Idaho State Police trooper for having an excessively loud muffler. Otero was arrested by the trooper for driving on a suspended license and the vehicle was searched incident to the arrest. The trooper discovered a sawed-off shotgun in a backpack between the driver and passenger seats of the truck. According to the plea agreement, Otero admitted the weapon was his and told the trooper he carried it for protection. An ATF agent examined the CBC 20 gauge shotgun and determined it had been sawed-off, having a barrel length of approximately nine inches and an overall length of 15½ inches. It was not registered to Otero in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for November 5, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The case was investigated by the Idaho State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted as part of Idaho's Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.