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Watertown man gets 15 years in federal firearm case


A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Watertown man to 15 years in prison for being a three-time convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Shawn J. Adams, 39, who pleaded guilty in Syracuse in September, faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and the potential of a life sentence when he appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby in Syracuse. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ransom P. Reynolds.

According to the plea agreement, Watertown police responded to a Nov. 8, 2010, complaint involving a man entering a third-floor apartment at 232 W. Main St. through an open window.

When police arrived, they found Mr. Adams sleeping on a couch with a gun case lying near the open window. He admitted the stolen Remington 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun was his, had been manufactured in Russia and had been shipped in interstate and foreign commerce.

According to federal court documents, Mr. Adams has felony convictions for third-degree burglary in St. Lawrence County in 1994, third-degree attempted burglary in Jefferson County in 1998 and second-degree attempted burglary in Nassau County in 2001, each of which disqualifies him from gun ownership.

According to the state Department of Corrections’ website, Mr. Adams is serving a 1 - to three-year prison sentence at Upstate Correctional Facility, Malone, for a first-degree offering a false instrument for filing conviction in 2011 in St. Lawrence County Court.

The earliest possible release date in that case is Nov. 22, according to the website.

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