Kandiyohi man gets five years in prison for possessing stolen gun
WILLMAR -- John Francis Springer, 22, of Kandiyohi, was sentenced Monday to 60 months in prison on a felony charge of possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime.
The conviction stems from a stolen shotgun found in his possession by sheriff's deputies in February.
Springer's sentence was handed down by District Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court. As part of a plea agreement, another felony for receiving stolen property and a petty misdemeanor charge for possession of a small amount of marijuana were dismissed.
The charges were filed after the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office received information on Feb. 21 that Springer was staying at a rural Kandiyohi residence and had warrants for his arrest.
Two deputies went to the residence and were allowed by the owner of the property to search the living quarters above a barn.
The deputies located Springer and a 12-gauge Benelli shotgun, which had been reported stolen by the Marshall Police Department in November.
Springer's cell phone was searched. Text messages regarding selling drugs and attempting to sell the gun were found on the phone.
Springer told the deputies that he had bought the gun for $30 or $40, knew it was stolen and that he had attempted to sell it. He had a prior conviction for second-degree burglary.