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Boonsboro business owner faces additional charges

April 25, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

A Boonsboro business owner awaiting sentencing on several weapons violations in Washington County faces additional charges filed by a special crimes unit of the Maryland Attorney General's office.

Gerald Edward Downs II, 45, of 19835 Old Shepherdstown Pike, has been charged with false application to purchase a regulated firearm, attempting to illegally possess a handgun and perjury.

The charges stem from an application submitted by Downs on Dec. 14 on which he signed under penalties of perjury that he was not subject to a protective court order filed to keep him away from another person, according to information from the office of Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran Jr.

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Downs is alleged to have been the subject of such a protective order at the time he applied, Curran said in a statement.

Information about the nature of the protective order or who might have obtained it wasn't available Wednesday night.

On March 19, Downs' attorney told a Washington County Circuit judge that his client needed a handgun for protection and to shoot rats.

Downs pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court in Hagerstown to transporting a handgun in a vehicle.

Police alleged that on June 5, 2001, Downs, who operates Crystal Grottoes, was driving a farm tractor on Md. 34. Officers searched the tractor and found two loaded guns, police said.

Judge Donald Beachley delayed sentencing pending a pre-sentence investigation and a related pending case in which Downs was charged with assaulting his brother.

Maryland State Police and Washington County Sheriff's deputies went to Downs' residence after receiving a report of an armed man riding a farm tractor in an intoxicated state, police reports said.

Several shotgun blasts were heard and a muzzle flash was seen coming from the grounds of Crystal Grottoes, followed by a shot from a handgun, police said.

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