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Virginia man gets prison time for illegally selling pistol on Watertown street

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A Virginia man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 months on federal prison for selling a pistol to an unknown person on a Watertown street.

Terry Dunlap, 28, Norfolk, Va., was also ordered in U.S. District Court, Utica, to undergo two additional years of supervision upon his release for a Nov. 8 guilty plea to unlawful sale of a firearm to an unauthorized person.

According to U.S. attorneys, Mr. Dunlap admitted to selling an Iberia Arms .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol to an unknown person in Watertown in August 2007. The pistol was recovered by police in Syracuse during a vehicle stop the following month. The driver of the vehicle who possessed the gun told police he did not know where got it, according to court documents.

A trace of the pistol’s serial number led Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in Virginia to interview Mr. Dunlap, the pistol’s last known owner. He initially falsely claimed to agents that he was still in possession of the gun, but later admitted that he had sold it in a Walmart parking lot in Watertown for $700 while visiting a cousin in the city.

Still later, he admitted that he sold a second gun to an unknown person in Syracuse in October 2007. That gun surfaced when police arrested a Syracuse man for possessing the 9-millimeter pistol. Mr. Dunlap told police the gun had “gone missing” from his mother’s garage, but later admitted he had sold it in Syracuse.

The case was investigated by ATF agents in Norfolk and Syracuse, with assistance from the Syracuse Police Department.

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