Probation OK in Former Delaware Tea Party Candidate's Gun Case: Feds

Federal prosecutors are recommending probation for a former state Senate candidate and local Republican Party official who pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges.

Matthew Opaliski faces sentencing next week after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful dealing in firearms. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other firearms counts.

Prosecutors say in a sentencing memorandum that authorities seized 63 firearms from Opaliski during their investigation, and that he repeatedly expressed indifference for federal and state gun laws. They nevertheless are recommending three years' probation because of his personal history and characteristics, and his lack of a criminal history.

Opaliski, a tea party supporter and gun rights activist who has testified in the legislature on firearms bills, has run for state Senate three times and also served as a local GOP chairman.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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