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For Immediate Release
March 3, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

TWO INDIVIDUALS CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING
TO ILLEGALLY PURCHASE HANDGUNS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that the Firearms Trafficking Unit has filed charges in the Circuit Court for Howard County against two individuals in connection with their filing of applications to purchase handguns with the Maryland State Police.

Iva Theresa Cruse, of 3726 East Lombard Street, Baltimore, was charged in a six count criminal information with false application to purchase a regulated firearm (two counts), perjury (two counts), and attempting to illegally possess a regulated firearm (two counts). Cruse is alleged to have falsely claimed on the application that she submitted on November 29, 2002, and which she signed under the penalties of perjury, that she had never been convicted of any violation classified as a felony in this State or any violation classified as a misdemeanor in this State that carries a statutory penalty of more than two years.

James Otis Blann, of 30365 Harris Range Road, Cordova, was charged in a three count criminal information with false application to purchase a regulated firearm, perjury, and attempting to illegally possess a handgun. Blann is alleged to have falsely claimed on the application that he submitted on October 5, 2002, and which he signed under the penalties of perjury, that he was not a respondent to a protective order. Blann is alleged to have been subject to a protective order at the time he applied.

Cruse and Blann are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for a conviction for filing a false application to purchase a firearm is three years incarceration and a $5,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a conviction of perjury is 10 years incarceration, and the maximum penalty for attempting to illegally possess a regulated firearm is five years incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Both cases were investigated by the Cease Fire Unit of the Maryland State Police and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for the Firearms Trafficking Unit comes from grants received from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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