Former Ky. Militia Leader Sentenced

Associated Press/August 30, 2002

Lexington, Ky. -- The former commander of the Kentucky State Militia was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday on federal weapons charges.

Charles N. Puckett, 55, pleaded guilty in May to two weapons charges and one count of intimidating a witness. Eight charges involving guns, pipe bombs and almost 35,000 rounds of ammunition were dropped.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms seized guns and other weapons from Puckett's home in November. Authorities alleged Puckett was barred from owning the weapons because of a previous felony conviction.

Puckett initially argued the 1968 law prohibiting felons from owning guns does not apply to him because he was convicted of the felony two years before the law's enactment.

Puckett was put under house arrest, but officials said he slipped out of an electronic monitoring bracelet and fled. He turned himself in to authorities in April.

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