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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

WORCESTER COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL
POSSESSION OF MACHINE GUN, SAWED-OFF SHOTGUNS, HANDGUNS, AND ILLEGALLY SELLING FIREARMS


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that charges were filed against a Worcester County man as part of Operation Crime Gun, his illegal gun prosecution initiative. Thomas Harold Mason, 29, 2515 Olds Lane, Pocomoke City, was charged with 51 counts involving the illegal possession and transfer of firearms. The criminal charges concern illegal conduct involving one machine gun, three sawed-off shotguns, three assault weapons, and 13 regulated firearms.

Mason was charged in the Worcester County District Court by way of criminal information with the following counts: Possession of Machine Gun for Aggressive Purpose (two counts), Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearm - Previous Conviction of Crime of Violence (17 counts), Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearm - Previous Misdemeanor Conviction (17 counts), Illegal Possession of Short-Barreled Shotgun (three counts), Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm - Failure to Comply with Transfer Requirements (ninth counts), and Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm to Person Under Age of 21 (three counts). A hearing on this matter is set for September 4th in the Worcester County District Court.

Mason is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for Possession of Machine Gun for Aggressive Purpose is 10 years incarceration. The maximum penalty for each count of Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearm - Previous Conviction of Crime of Violence is mandatory incarceration for five years, without the possibility of parole. The maximum penalty for Illegal Possession of Regulated Firearm - Previous Misdemeanor Conviction, Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm - Failure to Comply with Transfer Requirements, and Illegal Transfer of Regulated Firearm to Person Under Age of 21 is five years incarceration and/or a $10,000 fine. On the charge of Illegal Possession of Short-Barreled Shotgun, Mason faces a maximum of five years incarceration and/or a $5,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Maryland State Police, Cease Fire Unit, and the Pocomoke City Police Department, and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from grants received from the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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