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6 in Ripley County charged with concealed-guns scheme

Apr 29, 2013 -- 10:27am


Daily American Republic

Six Ripley County residents last week were charged for their alleged roles in a scheme involving falsification of affidavits for obtaining concealed-weapons certification. Thomas "Brian" Newman was charged with six counts of felony forgery by Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Miller. Tyler D. Watkins was also charged with 10 counts of felony forgery. Miller charged Randy S. Hart, his wife, Cindy Hart, and his brother, Bryan L. Hart, all of Fairdealing and Zachary Lee Spencer of Doniphan with misdemeanor making a false declaration. Newman is accused of signing and fraudulently issuing certificates of a firearms safety training course to Randy Hart and Cindy Hart on Oct. 5, to Bryan Hart on Feb. 2 and to Brian Byrd and Kassie Byrd on July 2. Watkins is accused of fraudulently providing certificates of firearms safety training courses. The Harts and Spencer are accused of misleading the Ripley County sheriff by providing the fraudulent certificates, which indicated they had completed firearms safety training, in their applications for a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The charges stem from an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and its Division of Drug and Crime Control.
Nine people who allegedly purchased or were given affidavits from Newman were interviewed and admitted their involvement, authorities said. Another 12 allegedly purchased affidavits from Watkins.
All six were issued summonses to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 14 before Associate Circuit Judge John Bloodworth for arraignment

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