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Wheels of justice

March 6, 2014

MAYVILLE — The prosecution called four witnesses to the stand Wednesday to present evidence against Benjamin Wassell....

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Mar-07-14 10:57 AM

Judeye, is selling guns out of the back of a car illegal? I don't know of any law that makes it illegal. The only Federal Law that he broke would be selling to a convicted felon but that hasn't come out in testimony yet. The other laws are NY State Laws which may not hold up in a Federal Court since there's nothing illegal about the weapons he was trying to sell other than he was charging an outrageous price.

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Mar-07-14 8:12 AM

Apparently there is no audio on the gun shop video? If that's the case will the jury accept the owner's allegation that the accused was attempting to sell the gun on the owner's testimony alone? The jury will have to accept the owner's testimony to a level of "beyond a reasonable doubt" in order for the state to avoid entrapment issues on the later sting operation. It would be interesting to see how the judge charges the jury this morning on that matter.

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Mar-07-14 7:38 AM


Do you feel the same way about someone getting caught selling drugs? If they have no prior criminal record why not just let them go?

What is the difference?

Is it only that you can relate to selling illegal guns out of the back of a car but cannot relate to someone selling drugs? Is that the only difference?

We have laws. If you do not agree with a law you work to change it. If you violate that law you have to prepare to pay the price.

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Mar-07-14 7:25 AM

Deloniak...this had NOTHING to do with the Safe Act. At first I believe charges were pressed under that law as well as the other charges. The charges from Safe were dropped from what I have read.

This then became a clear case of someone doing something illegal...selling guns out of the back of his car...and getting caught.

I am amazed at anyone who comes to his defense.

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Mar-07-14 7:23 AM

And how about that! Today's (Friday 07MAR)edition of the Observer does not mention any of the state's final three witnesses called yesterday, mentioning anything whatsoever about the state having a voice recording of the undercover agent telling the accused that he had a felony record and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms. That allegation, made just about one year ago by the state's representatives, was the # one thing that emotionally whipped up public sentiment in this matter, and rightfully so. But in the end it all vanishes into thin air and without though it never existed?! While I don't see the lack of such testimony creating a fatal flaw in the state's overall case, I can't help but wonder if the public was merely played for PR purposes. Wouldn't be the 1st time.

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Mar-06-14 11:17 PM

We haven't yet seen the Observer's report on today's (Thursday) developments in court. However, if the matter regarding the undercover agent allegedly stating that he was a convicted felon doesn't come up in sworn testimony before the end of the trial, then it's an irrelevant/moot point and can't lawfully be considered by the jury in their determinations as, as far as they're concerned, it never happened.

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Mar-06-14 10:14 PM

WilliamWallace is right. I saw nothing in the testimony by the undercover officer where he stated he was a convicted felon. Was it reported wrong? Did the officer identify himself as a convicted felon? Selling to a convicted felon is a federal offense. Of all the charges, that's the one which would stand in a Federal Court; the other not so sure.

$1900 for an AR-15, 300 rounds of ammo and a few thirty magazines? He was getting ripped off. He should have known anyone willing to pay that much for that was a setup.

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Mar-06-14 7:56 PM

And what does commissary pricing have to do with it Alfalfa?

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Mar-06-14 7:46 PM

and joew, christoper doesn't have to shift focus , this Ben guy is up the creek and got caught breaking the law.

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Mar-06-14 7:40 PM

I recently posted laws are laws, There are good reasons we have back ground checks, The guy broke the law, and 3 stooges diagreed with me ?? lol

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Mar-06-14 6:21 PM

@thoughtful...that's the problem. No one knows what the law is. It was passed hastily without public debate and behind the closed doors of the powers that be. People should have had their say before the gun laws were arbitrarily passed. No one knows what the laws are. If you have a relative that passes away and you find a gun in their attic..what do you do it with it? What if you have a yard sale and want to sell it? Does that make you a felon now? It's ridiculous of what gun laws require.

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Mar-06-14 4:53 PM

The whole topic revolves around NY State and the trial of Ben Wassell for goodness sakes. Christopher is trying to shift the focus for whatever reason. Midwest Gun & Range is a great place to rent and shoot machine guns by the way. Many different ones to choose from.

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Mar-06-14 3:57 PM

Actually JoeW , both yours and LitlDaddy's appear to blanket statements. Moreover, it is VERY common that people who live in states such a NY believe that automatic arms are prohibited in the U.S. by federal law. I guess you could call it a "state of mind" thing, just like hunters from PA think that semi-auto rifles are illegal everywhere for deer hunting. And yes, I don't understand some of Christopher's wandering either. FYI, check out the night shoot video @ ****Knobcreekrange****

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Mar-06-14 3:34 PM

You mean the law changed in NY state KCW? We are discussing NY State are we not? Christopher is off on some drug induced tangent dealing with commissaries(screwing our young heroes to pay for the freeloaders) and a Senator I never heard of.

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Mar-06-14 3:18 PM

And Christopher is correct, federal law DOES NOT outlaw automatic weapons possession by law abiding citizens, provided that the $200 transfer tax is paid. 39 states DO NOT prohibit civilian possession of REAL assault weapons, provided that federal, and state law, if any, are abided by. A number of locals sponsor "shoots" where people can buy ammo and "rent" these weapons. The Knob Creek, TN shoots are probably best known, but there are a number of others. There's LOTS of U Tube footage on these events. Impressive, to say the least.

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Mar-06-14 3:01 PM

JJ's could have bought the gun for potential law enforcement sales IF the supplier could lawfully possess and sell it, which in this case the accused couldn't do. Civilians in NYS were NEVER allowed to own guns made using receivers PRODUCED AFTER SEPT. 94' which had MULTIPLE numbers of those horrible, cosmetic doodad's affixed to them. Besides being unlawful to own they are of course equally unlawful for such people to sell. If JJ's had bought it, the lack of lawful provenance on the gun would have made it subject to seizure by the law.

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Mar-06-14 2:30 PM

Total nonsense waste of taxpayer money and time. Spend our money prosecuting real criminals and crimes. This is just NYS posturing with their power grab. Does this guy have a criminal record and a danger to society? - No. Did he technically break the new gun laws? - Maybe. But even if he did he is not a child molester, or violent drug cartel leader or apparent threat to society. Give him a reprimand and stop wasting our money.

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Mar-06-14 2:11 PM

You all should have gone to the Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle last weekend, it was great! Armadillo races, deep fried Gator Bites, and LOTS of Swamp Cabbage dishes, from slaws to krauts!

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Mar-06-14 2:09 PM

And Joey, you know lildaddy meant SEMI-auto weapons, just like we all know so-called assault rifles really aren't without a switch for full auto fire, but then again we ALL know what is meant by that name. But, what the heck, let's all nit pick. Shall we argue about the word "pistol"? Most people use that term for ALL handguns, we both know pistols are semi-auto and revolvers are...well, revolvers. Good argument when you have nothing better to say.

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Mar-06-14 2:06 PM

Joey, automatic weapons are NOT illegal in many states, you just have to pay for a tax stamp.

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Mar-06-14 2:05 PM

Hey Joey, did you see where the Military personnel were concerned that the recommended Military cuts would effect their grocery prices as they'd lose their TAX PAYER SUPPORTED Commissary pricing, causing prices to rise to the civilian level for groceries and such.

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Mar-06-14 2:05 PM

LitlDaddy1951@yahoo****- automatic firearms are illegal unless you are a licensed collector. Get educated before spouting off with inaccurate information.

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Mar-06-14 2:03 PM

I love gun arguments. Hey, Joey, you see where General Sinclair has admitted to 3 sexual misconduct charges, but denies the most serious. (Surprise, surprise!)Yep, no doubt, let the Military hierarchy police their own. Kind of tough when the Military hierarchy is also the perpetrator! Go Senator Gellibrand!

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Mar-06-14 1:01 PM

Biblenguns is right jjs could have bought it legally. He could have sold it to LEO. And again all the 94 act is is cosmetic features.

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Mar-06-14 12:42 PM

First I think that the safeact is an attack on our freedoms, I believe that obama and cuomo are gun grabbing radicals. This guy knowingly sold to a felon, even though it was a trap set up by law enforcement. He will probably pay with his freedom for that. The part that really irritates me is that J.J. turned him in. I was foolish enough to believe that we as gun owners should have each others backs. I may be wrong here but I understood that the only people who could buy an AW were law enforcement and gun shops, who intern sell them to LEO's. Did JJ just do the right thing or was he just trying to collected the $500 reward that's given for that type of info?

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