Gaines resident facing felony weapons charge pleads guilty to misdemeanor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 February 2017 at 4:54 pm

ALBION – A Gaines resident who was facing a felony weapons charge pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor and could be sentenced to up to a year in Orleans County jail on April 17.

John P. Klotzbach, 66, of Ridge Road declined to consider any plea offers on Jan. 9. He has been facing charges of conspiracy in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. On Jan. 9, Klotzbach told Judge James Punch he intended to have the case go to trial.

But today Klotzbach pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

He admitted he had a shortened shotgun on May 20, 2016. The judge asked Klotzbach is the gun was operable, and Klotzbach said it was.

He pleaded guilty to  charge that is less serious than what he was facing last month.

Klotzbach was charged on May 20 following an investigation by the Task Force, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

Klotzbach allegedly attempted to purchase a shotgun and refused to complete the required ATF form 4473 for the federal background check and was subsequently denied the purchase.

Several days later, a female acquaintance allegedly went into the gun store and wanted to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach attempted to buy. The gun store owner became suspicious when he noticed the woman was riding in the same vehicle as Klotzbach, as well as attempting to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach wanted. The store owner then contacted law enforcement authorities.

Two other people also pleaded guilty today:

Sara Harris, 35, of Hilton pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. She will face from 1 to 2 ½ years in prison when she is sentenced on April 24.

Harris allegedly was found with heroin and pills in her vehicle when she was stopped in Murray on Oct. 26 by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

Harris allegedly had two amphetamine pills and 18 small, plastic bags which field tested positive for heroin.

Harris said in court today that some of the heroin was for her personal use and some she also intended to sell.

• A Kent resident pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.

Daniel Flanagan, 31, of Bills Road will face a maximum of 1 to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced.

He admitted he had been drinking alcohol when he was stopped Dec. 7, 2013 on East State Street in Albion. Flanagan registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.23 percent and also was driving without a license.

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