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Cocke County Man Gets 17.5 Years in Prison

GREENEVILLE, Tn -- Larry Donald Gunter, 56, of Parrottsville, Tenn., was sentenced to 210 months in prison, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, Greeneville. The sentence was the result of his conviction at trial on October 20, 2010, on charges of possessing a firearm after having been convicted of felonies, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle which had been transported across state lines.

On July 8, 2010, a Cocke County Sheriff's Office detective accompanied by a Newport Police Department officer went to Gunter's Parrottsville residence in connection with another investigation. After arresting him on an outstanding state warrant, the officers obtained consent to search Gunter's trailer. A sawed-off shotgun, loaded with additional rounds of ammunition, was found under the mattress of a bed by the door of the trailer.

Gunter had previously been convicted of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, grand larceny, arson, and burglary in Jefferson, Cocke, and Sumner Counties, Tenn. Also found at Gunter's residence was a passenger van which had been stolen the previous evening from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The van, registered to Youth for Christ, had been used by a youth group from Outdoor Mission Camp, Maggie Valley, N.C. which had gone hiking in the GSMNP. An additional stolen vehicle as well as items from other stolen vehicles were recovered in and around the trailer.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to indictment and subsequent conviction of Gunter included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cocke County Sheriff's Office, Newport Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, National Park Service, Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Investigation Division, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Published July 1, 2011

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