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Here's a rather weird story that I read on a WWII reenactment forum.

(As usual, the reporter didn't get all of his gun facts straight: Sten guns were British, not German. :rolleyes: )
War re-enactor gets maximum sentence in weapons case
By MICHAEL SHAW
Published: Friday, Dec. 05 2003

Gary T. Whitlow's illicitly owned submachine guns were stolen and eventually used in a bank robbery.

A federal judge gave the maximum sentence Friday to a World War II re-enactor whose illicitly owned submachine guns were stolen and eventually used by bank robbers.

The motivations and background of Gary T. Whitlow of Beckemeyer remain largely mysterious, the judge and a prosecutor admitted at the sentencing hearing Friday.

Whitlow, 33, who works in the computer field, received a 51-month prison sentence in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, the most he had faced under sentencing guidelines.

He declined to testify during his trial this summer in which a jury convicted him of illegally possessing 10 automatic weapons. And Whitlow, known as "Trip" among gun enthusiasts, declined to say anything before District Court Judge David Herndon pronounced sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Garrison described Whitlow as a "mystery." Arguing for the maximum sentence, she said he has "deep fascination with machine guns but no respect for the law."

Burglars in May 2001 sliced open a padlock at an O'Fallon, Ill., storage center to gain access to Whitlow's guns, which ranged from MP-40s to "Sten" guns, the kind used by German forces in World War II. A month later, two men from the East St. Louis area used some of the weapons to rob a bank branch in New Baden of nearly $50,000.

Those men were arrested after a high-speed chase, and the firearms trail eventually led back to Whitlow. The robbers, along with three getaway drivers, were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms.

Dan Owens, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified Friday that two men contacted him to describe Whitlow's involvement in battle re-enactments.

Owens said Whitlow posed as a licensed machine-gun manufacturer and duped other re-enactors into providing him with guns and parts. The agent said he feared some of Whitlow's weapons are still on the streets.

Whitlow's attorney, Bill Walker of Granite City, strongly objected to Owens' testimony, because the men contacted the agent after Whitlow's trial, and authorities haven't released their names.

"I have a right to cross-examine those people," Walker said. "My client has a right - a constitutional right - to confront anybody who has accused him." He said Whitlow still considers himself to be innocent of any crime.

Judge Herndon said he allowed the testimony because it did not affect the sentence he handed down.

Reporter Michael Shaw:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 618-235-3988
from http://www.stltoday.com
 

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Wonder how the guns were "traced" to him if he didnt have the proper forms and licenses.

Very interesting.
 

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Isnt the only time that a machine gun (registered) been used in a crime was a policeman who shot his wife with it?
 
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