Ex-army man who trafficked firearms gets third suspended sentence

Ex-army man who trafficked firearms gets third suspended sentence


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A FORMER Australian Army member who is qualified in armoury has been handed his third wholly suspended sentence in the Supreme Court.

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A FORMER Australian Army member who is qualified in armoury has been handed his third wholly suspended sentence in the Supreme Court.

Alexander James Bartels, 40, avoided immediate jail in Launceston on Tuesday for unlawful trafficking in firearms and related summary offences.

He had done tours of duty in East Timor and Iraq, totalling 10 years.

Bartels, who quit his senior job at TasRail because of his court matter, had previously pleaded guilty to charges related to stolen property and the possession of firearms, a silencer and ammunition without a licence.

Justice Helen Wood jailed Bartels for 10 months, wholly suspended for two years, ordered him to complete 198 hours of community service and fined him $9000.

She said Bartels had prior convictions which had resulted in two wholly suspended sentences in the Supreme Court in 1994 and 2011.

Justice Wood said Bartels had also been fined $800 for firearm possession offences in 2010.

She said it had been submitted that Bartels had a comprehensive understanding of the appropriate management of firearms, but she asserted that his crimes showed a lack of respect for firearms laws.

The court previously heard that police officers searched a house in Main Road, Exeter on March 29 and seized a Winchester .243 rifle with scope, a loaded Beretta 12-gauge shotgun, and four shotgun cartridges.

Text messages between Bartels and an associate revealed an arrangement to sell the seized Winchester rifle for $1000.

Checks revealed that the Winchester had been stolen during a Youngtown burglary sometime in late 2009, while the seized $2000 Beretta had been stolen from a July 2010 burglary at Longford.

Police then searched the Frankford Road, Exeter property of Bartels the next day.

Officers seized various rounds of ammunition, a silencer, a loaded .22 rifle which had had the serial number removed and a Carl Gustaf centrefire rifle.

The story Ex-army man who trafficked firearms gets third suspended sentence first appeared on The Examiner.

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