Friday, June 24, 2011

PLATTSBURGH — A Hogansburg man has been sentenced to seven months in jail after he admitted to illegally possessing firearms as a felon.

Victor J. Lazore, 25, was arrested in September 2010 following a traffic
stop by St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police.

At the time, police said, Lazore was defiant and uncooperative when officers
spotted a shotgun, rifle, large hunting knife and ammunition inside his
vehicle.

He was later indicted on a federal weapons charge for illegally possessing
the weapons and ultimately pleaded guilty to the charge.

Officials said Lazore was not permitted to possess the guns based on his
felony drug conviction in 2005.

During his sentencing appearance Thursday, Lazore argued that he possessed
the guns in accordance with his right to bear arms as a member of the
Akwesasne Militia and because he had been hunting on the Canadian side of
the Mohawk territory earlier that day.

Lazore testified that his girlfriend has about two of the guns for him in
Arizona following after his drug conviction and that he had hunted in that
state in violation of federal law.

Prosecutors subsequently produced letters from Canadian and New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation officials that said Lazore was in
violation of their laws when he allegedly was in possession of weapons
locally.

Federal prosecutors said U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd ruled that
since Lazore had been hunting the day of his arrest, he was entitled to a
reduced sentenced because he possessed the gun for hunting purposes.

Lazore was then sentenced to seven months of incarceration and three years
of supervised release.

Because he has been in custody since his federal arrest in February, Lazore
has about three months more to serve.

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