FREDONIA, NY - Bail was set at $50,000 cash/ $100,000 bond on Tuesday morning for a Dunkirk man accused of having an illegal assault rifle.
Dennis A. Wallace, 36, of Van Buren Road appeared before Pomfret Town Judge Judge David Prince, where he pleaded not guilty. Wallace is due to appear back in court on May 2 for a preliminary hearing.
Wallace had previously been charged with Aggravated Harassment in the 2nd degree regarding an incident with his wife, for which an order of protection had been filed in Fredonia Village Court.
According to court documents, during a follow up investigation by Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies and Fredonia Police on Sunday, Wallace was allegedly found to have been in possession of what court papers describe as a loaded, unregistered, self manufactured semi-automatic assault rifle,
The weapon is described further as having a telescoping stock, a pistol grip, and a detachable magazine. which would be illegal under the NY SAFE act passed in January of 2013.
However, as Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace noted, the weapon also would have been illegal to possess prior to the SAFE Act, due to a number of its characteristics.
"This really isn't a SAFE Act case, in my mind," Gerace told WGRZ-TV, adding that he does not believe the District Attorney will seek to enhance what are already serious charges under pre-existing laws.
Wallace is now charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree, a class "C" violent felony, for which he faces a sentence of 3-1/2 to 15 years in prison if convicted.