News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Virginia, Minnesota, felon pleads guilty to possessing a .38-caliber revolver

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 48-year-old felon from the northern Minnesota community of Virginia pleaded guilty to possessing a .38-caliber revolver. John Carl Pape specifically pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pape, who was indicted on October 15, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz.

In his plea agreement, Pape admitted possessing the Smith & Wesson, five-shot revolver on May 6, 2012. On that day, police received a complaint that two vehicles had been vandalized in a church parking lot in Eveleth, Minnesota. One of the victims stated that her purse was stolen, and that it contained the gun and credit cards, among other items. Later that day, Pape was questioned by authorities and admitted attempting to make purchases and withdrawals with the victim’s stolen credit card. During the subsequent execution of a search warrant at Pape’s residence on May 6 and 7, 2012, officers seized items linked to the theft, including the gun.

Because he is a felon, Pape is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. His previous St. Louis County convictions include third-degree burglary (1991 and 2004), fifth-degree possession of drugs (2007 and 2008), and fifth-degree sale of marijuana (1998).

Since at least three of Pape’s prior convictions constitute crimes of violence or major drug crimes, he is subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act if convicted in the current federal case. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. For his crime, Pape faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. Judge Schiltz will determine Pape’s sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

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