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Man sentenced to 3 months in custody for trying to sell smuggled gun in Massena

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MASSENA — A former Hogansburg man has been sentenced to three months in federal custody for smuggling a gun into the United States from Canada with the intent to sell it in Massena.

Gavin Papequash, 24, who now resides in Akwesasne, Que., was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Albany, after pleading guilty Oct. 24 to illegal importation of a firearm, the lone count against him contained in a grand jury indictment unsealed in court in January.

According to court documents, Papequash traveled from Snye, Que., on the so-called Canadian side of the transborder reservation to St. Lawrence County on May 22, 2012, without reporting his entrance into the country at a designated port of entry. The purpose of the trip was to sell a Ruger Mini-30 automatic firearm with 20 rounds of ammunition, although the potential buyer actually was an undercover officer.

Officers with a Canadian smuggling task force observed Papequash leave Snye and followed him to the U.S. border and saw him cross into the country. U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents then observed him traveling from the border to a parking lot at an unspecified location in Massena. He then sold the gun to the undercover officer, according to court documents.

Papequash was also fined $2,000 and ordered to undergo three years of additional supervision upon his release from custody.

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