Guilty verdict in firearms trial
By BUFFY SPENCER
SPRINGFIELD – A federal jury found Michael A. Crooker guilty of a gun crime that will mean atl least a 15-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
The jury delivered its verdict shortly after 2 p.m. today, after deliberating about 10 hours over two days.
Crooker, 51, formerly of Agawam, had been charged with being a previously convicted felon “causing a firearm to travel in interstate commerce.”
Crooker was accused of trying to mail an air rifle and sound muffler to an Ohio man in 2004. Air rifles are not considered firearms under federal law, but silencers that can be used on regular guns are. Testimony during the trial centered on whether the black metal cylinder mailed with the air rifle qualifies as a silencer and therefore a firearm. Felons are prohibited from owning firearms.
The jury yesterday morning came back to Judge Michael A. Ponsor with a question, basically asking for more of a definition of a silencer under federal law. Ponsor told them he could not give any more of a description than had been given in his jury instructions.
Crooker sat silently and without obvious expression beside his lawyer, Vincent A. Bongiorni, as the verdict was read.