Boonsboro business owner faces additional charges

April 25, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

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.


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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