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257 weapons seized from 77-year-old alleged firearms dealer

Federal authorities who seized 257 weapons from a Miami County man have charged him with three felony counts, including selling firearms without a license.

William E. Coe Jr., 77, of Conover was arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in Dayton. Coe also has been indicted of having both a machine gun and a sawed-off shotgun that are not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Coe, identified online as a retired plumber with an address on Ohio 235, entered pleas of not guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice and was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary trial date of April 15 was set by the court. The pretrial conference was held in Rice’s chambers with Assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi and defense attorney James Skogstrom.

A six-page list of weapons seized attached to the federal indictment includes shotguns, rifles, handguns, revolvers, pistols and the machine gun — some of which have unknown origins while others are without serial numbers.

The indictment covers a time range from 2012 to July 30, 2013. The machine gun was listed as a Battle Born while the sawed-off Sears & Roebuck shotgun had a barrel of less than 18 inches.

A prosecutor’s office spokesman said the maximum sentence for the unlicensed selling of firearms is five years while the maximum sentences for having the unregistered weapons is 10 years apiece for a total maximum of 25 years in prison. There is no minimum mandatory sentence.

Tabacchi would not comment further on the case, saying more details would be available when his motion to unseal the search warrant affidavit was accepted by the court and entered into the record.

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