Judge arrested on illegal gun charges http://www.privateofficer.com
Federal agents Thursday arrested a suspended Clarke County judge in Mobile on firearms charges, accusing him of having as many as 30 guns despite a restraining order forbidding him from possessing any, according to authorities.
Stuart DuBose, who faces trial next month before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary on a host of ethics charges, stands accused of possession of a firearm by someone who is the subject of a restraining order and lying about that restraining order when he purchased a gun in Saraland last month.
DuBose made an initial appearance Thursday afternoon in Mobile’s federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bert Milling Jr., who ordered DuBose jailed overnight until a preliminary hearing today. Prosecutors said they would seek a permanent order of detention based on their concern about his mental stability
Defense attorney Richard Shields criticized the decision to charge DuBose the week he returned home from a 30-day stint at a Pensacola substance abuse treatment center.
“All they’ve done is fanned a flame that didn’t need to be fanned,” he said.
If convicted of the possession charge, DuBose faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. The other charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Under advisory sentencing guidelines, he likely would get less time if convicted.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms &Explosives arrested DuBose at his doctor’s office off Interstate 65 in Mobile. He was unarmed and did not try to run, said Mike Messinger, the resident agent in charge of the local ATF office.
Messinger said agents took a safe from DuBose’s home and discovered Thursday that it contained two revolvers. He said investigators still were looking for a rifle they believe the judge has.
Under federal law, DuBose is not allowed to have firearms because he is subject to a restraining order that a judge granted Allison DuBose in March as part of their divorce proceedings. Clarke County Sheriff Bobby Moore personally delivered the restraining order to DuBose on March 25. The order, which Clarke County Circuit Judge Thomas Baxter re-affirmed two weeks later, instructed DuBose to leave his home on Club Wiley Road and stay away from his wife.
Moore said he saw a bullet hole in a large-screen TV in the house when he served the order. In an interview, he said DuBose and his wife each blamed the other for the damage
He acted fine when I saw him,” Moore said. “Of course, he’s always acted fine when I see him. He didn’t throw a fit or anything.”
An affidavit filed by an ATF investigator relays information from a Jackson Police Department report alleging that DuBose fired shots near a geophysical exploration survey crew that was working close to a family farm on Stave Creek Road, where the judge has been living since he was evicted from his home.
The affidavit states that DuBose angrily asked on April 17 which crew member reported the gunfire over their heads. Jackson Police Officer Barry Fowler reported hearing a burst of 12 to 15 founds of fully automatic gunfire come from the direction of DuBose’s house, according to the document.
The officer found DuBose in the barn with a Colt .233-caliber machine gun, according to the criminal complaint. Officers also saw a .50-caliber Barrett rifle set up on a table and pointing toward a nearby church parking lot.
DuBose agreed to give the machine gun and 20 to 30 other firearms to his brother, Jackson Police Officer Lem DuBose. Officers let the judge keep two revolvers and a .22-caliber rifle after he complained that he had received threats during divorce proceedings and needed guns for protection.
During the visit, Judge DuBose made what officials described as veiled threats against Fowler, according to the document.
DuBose allegedly asked Fowler if he remembered a SWAT training exercise years ago in which DuBose had portrayed the “bad guy” and then said, “I killed everyone, do you remember? My point being that today if I had not wanted you to be here and (Jackson Police Chief) Charles Burge and all of the rest of you, you wouldn’t be.”
The following day, according to the affidavit, DuBose bought a Ruger 7mm-08 caliber bolt-action rifle from Quint’s Hardware & Sporting in Saraland. On a form asking him if he was subject to a restraining order, DuBose falsely answered “no,” the complaint alleges.
Sandra Williams, whose husband owns the store, said in an interview that the instant background check that she ran did not reveal the restraining order. In retrospect, she said, DuBose acted somewhat strangely.
“He had on gloves, and he never took the gloves off,” she said. “He kept them on even when he filled out the form.”
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