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Missouri man faces 15 years in gun charge

A man convicted of a dozen prior felonies was sentenced Thursday in Fargo's federal court on a local firearms charge. Scott Lee Owen, 38, of Springfield, Mo., will serve 188 months in a federal prison for being a felon in possession of a gun. Owe...

Scott L. Owen

A man convicted of a dozen prior felonies was sentenced Thursday in Fargo's federal court on a local firearms charge.

Scott Lee Owen, 38, of Springfield, Mo., will serve 188 months in a federal prison for being a felon in possession of a gun.

Owen's extensive criminal history and the circumstances surrounding his firearms conviction played a role in his lengthy prison term, Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Reisenauer said.

Owen was carrying a .233-caliber rifle and wearing a ski mask and trench coat when he broke into a south Fargo home on Feb. 4 and robbed the owner at gunpoint, court records say.

Cheryl Neil, 46, told police she was sleeping in her split-level home at 1651 51st St. S. when the masked gunman crashed through her patio door about 2 a.m.

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Neil told police the gunman hit her head with the rifle but didn't fire a shot. He left with about $300.

Neil told officers she believed the intruder was Owen, who had previously been a guest in her house.

Police arrested Owen the same day of the home invasion. In his pockets, officers found three $1 bills they believe were stolen from Neil's home. The bills were marked with a unique stamp, court records say.

Investigators also seized a rifle from a Fargo home where Owen was living.

Owen has remained in custody since his arrest, his attorney, Monty Mertz said.

Mertz said his client moved from Missouri to Fargo for a job. He said he didn't know what the job was.

Owen pleaded guilty to the firearms charge in Fargo's federal court on June 24. Federal law prohibits felons from possessing firearms.

Owen has 12 felony convictions in Missouri, most of which are for burglaries and thefts.

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His prior convictions qualified him as an armed career offender and a minimum mandatory 15-year prison sentence on the weapons charge, Reisenauer said.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson sentenced Owen to serve 15 years and eight months in prison.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Zent at (701) 241-5526

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