Its nice to see St. Louis County prosecutors take firearms crimes as seriously as the should be.

Published January 31, 2013, 01:17 PM

Iron Range man faces life in prison for firearm possession

Forty-eight-year-old convicted felon John Carl Pape, of Virginia, was indicted after a stolen gun was found in his home.By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune

John Carl Pape, 48, was indicted Oct. 15, 2012.

A Virginia man pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis on Thursday to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

John Carl Pape, 48, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Because of his criminal history, he faces a minimum sentence of 15 years. A sentencing day has not been scheduled.

In his plea agreement, Pape admitted possessing the Smith & Wesson, five-shot .38-caliber 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. 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, officers seized items linked to the theft, including the gun.

Pape was indicted Oct. 15. At the time he was indicted, Pape was being held in the St. Louis County Jail on $100,000 bail for three state criminal cases filed in Virginia in May. He is charged with eight counts in those cases: four for drugs and one each for being a felon in possession of a firearm, financial transaction fraud, theft and burglary.

His criminal record includes convictions for burglary in 1991 and 2004, possession of drugs in 2007 and 2008, and sale of marijuana in 1998, all in St. Louis County.

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