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Vietnam War hero sentenced to 7 years for decades-old rifle purchase


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A decorated Vietnam veteran and firearms collector was sentenced to seven years in federal prison Wednesday for a decades-old purchase of a rifle.

Alfred Pick, 70, purchased the M14 -- a fully automatic weapon illegal to own -- at a Ft. Worth gun show in the early 1980s, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The rifle, which had a scratched-off serial number, was similar to the one Pick used as an Army lieutenant in Vietnam, where he earned a Silver Star after participating in more than 100 combat missions and his brief time as a POW.

"The man is a Silver Star winner, he saved lives, he took care of his wife, he’s been in custody for a year, I would think that when a man turned 70 and is an American hero you don't destroy the rest of his life for one mistake," Mark Shackelford, a friend, told KDFW-TV.

Shackelford called the weapon the "piece de resistance" of Pick’s collection, adding that "He had shown it to me. I've never seen it taken out of the case.

Ryne Sandel, Pick's attorney, said his client had a "connection" to the rifle at the time.

Pick has accumulated dozens of weapons over the years, most of them collectibles, Sandel said.

Last year, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents looking for the rifle raided Pick’s Plano, Texas, home two weeks after his wife died of cancer and found the weapon.

"He's had it all these years, never robbed a bank or done anything with it," Shackleford said. "I would think that when a man turned 70 and is an American hero, you don't destroy the rest of his life for one mistake."

Some Vietnam veterans were less than sympathetic, the station reported, saying Pick should have known better since the rifle's serial was scratched out.



This is the emotive narrative advanced by his attorney, but digging shows a whole different story...


Edited by TBO
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1 minute ago, Brown Hawk said:

What does that statement mean and come from.  And a raid 30 some years later?  Seems to be a lot missing from the story.


Yup, missing from the paid attorney's story and available elsewhere:

-M14 with obliterated serial number

-witness statements of defendant admitting to stealing the M14 when he was in the service

-defendant was also caught with narcotics (cocaine), and weed too if you care

-defendant had history of threats/disorderly conduct, and mental health eval

-family member turned him, in fear of what he may do (drug use/mental state)

-defendant accused of sexual abuse by his daughter


Yeah, as we should already know, journalism is dead, click bait rules the day. 

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I guessed #2 from #1 as you’d be an idiot to buy an obviously stolen military rifle.

Thought #5 was likely family or friend.  

The rest comes from family or friends having inside knowledge.  

And we’ve gotten so used to looking for what isn’t said in stories in the media that it’s almost subconscious picking out the holes.  

Thanks for the rest of the story.


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Pick's claiming he purchased the fully automatic M14 rifle (with obliterated serial number) in a gun show in the early 1980s.   But might have in fact stolen it while he was still in the military?      His own attorney said Pick, his client, "had a connection" (WTH does that mean?) to the particular rifle?   Pick's friend Shackelford noted it was Pick's "piece de resistance" of his gun collection but had never seen it taken out of the case, much less shot.   

Edited by PATCHMAN
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