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For Immediate Release
July 10, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

OPERATION CRIME GUN CONVICTS WASHINGTON COUNTY MAN OF ATTEMPTING TO ILLEGALLY PURCHASE HANDGUN

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a conviction was obtained against an individual as part of Operation Crime Gun, his illegal gun prosecution initiative, when a Washington County man was sentenced for attempting to illegally purchase a handgun while subject to a protective order.

The Honorable Diane O. Leasure, sitting for the Circuit Court for Howard County, found Philip Alan Marshall, 37, of 19200 Betty's Avenue, Boonsboro guilty of submitting a False Application to Purchase a Regulated Firearm. Marshall was sentenced to two years, suspended, with three years supervised probation, and was ordered to forfeit a handgun and a rifle to the Maryland State Police. He was also ordered to submit to counseling as ordered, to not have any adverse contact with his ex-wife, on whose behalf the protective order was issued, and to have no firearms in his possession.

On October 30, 2001, a protective order was issued against Marshall in the District Court of Washington County, ordering him to not abuse or threaten to abuse his ex-wife, who two weeks earlier had obtained an ex parte temporary protective order after alleging that Marshall had threatened to kill her during a dispute over visitation. On November 13, 2001, Marshall applied to purchase a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. He falsely answered "no" to questions on federal and state forms that asked, under penalty of perjury, whether the purchaser was subject to a protective order. The form stated that if he answered yes, he could not purchase or possess a regulated firearm.

The next day, the State application was forwarded to the Maryland State Police's Firearms Registration Section in Columbia, Howard County, which processes all applications throughout the State. A check of Marshall's background revealed that he was subject to a protective order. Maryland State Police subsequently telephoned Marshall, who confirmed that he did compete the applications and also said that he had a .44 Caliber Desert Eagle and a .22 caliber rifle currently in his home. Troopers seized the weapons. On November 29, troopers learned that Marshall was in possession of another firearm and again went to Marshall's home. Marshall confirmed he had another firearm, which he said belonged to his parents.

The case was investigated by the Cease Fire Unit of the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Special Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, in connection with a partnership the two agencies have formed to further efforts to combat handgun violations statewide. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from a grant from the Governor's Office on Crime Control and Prevention.

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