Cd’A man gets seven years on firearm charge

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COEUR D'ALENE – Bruce W. Bandel, 57, of Coeur d'Alene, was sentenced today to seven years, three months in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.

U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge ordered Bandel to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and forfeit three firearms founds in his possession. Bandel pleaded guilty to a one count superseding information on October 31.

According to the plea agreement, Bandel admitted that on March 16, 1976, in Nez Perce County he pleaded guilty to grand larceny, a felony offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Bandel also admitted that on February 24, 2009, during a traffic stop in Illinois, he was found in possession of approximately 100 pounds of marijuana. Bandel subsequently pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and fined $37,778.

According to the plea agreement, two days after the traffic stop in Illinois, a search warrant for evidence of drug trafficking was executed at Bandel's Coeur d'Alene residence. During the search, officers with the North Idaho Violent Crime Task force found and seized a .22 firearm, a .25 semi-automatic firearm, a P-380 semi-automatic firearm.

Bandel is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his prior felony convictions.The case was investigated by the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force.

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