Briton pleads not guilty to weapons
charges over Trump rally incident
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[July 07, 2016]
(Reuters) - A British man pleaded
not guilty on Wednesday to weapons charges stemming from an incident
where he was accused of trying to steal a gun from a policeman during a
Las Vegas rally for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican
Michael Steven Sandford, 20, of Britain, was charged with two
felony counts of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm
and one felony count of impeding and disrupting the orderly conduct
of government business, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in
Brenda Weksler, one of Sandford's federal public defenders, declined
to comment when reached by email on Wednesday evening. Sandford's
trial is set to begin on August 22, said U.S. Attorney's Office
spokeswoman Natalie Collins.
Sandford was initially charged in a complaint filed in federal court
on June 20 with an act of violence on restricted grounds over the
June 18 incident at the Treasure Island casino hotel. The complaint
said Sandford told a U.S. Secret Service agent he had driven to Las
Vegas from California with the goal of shooting Trump.
The indictment does not accuse Sandford of plotting to kill Trump.
According to the June 20 complaint, Sandford said he had been in the
United States for a year and a half. Court records said he had lived
in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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Las Vegas police lead Michael Steven Sandford from Republican U.S.
presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rally at the Treasure
Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2016.
Court records said Sandford went to the Battlefield Vegas gun range
to practice shooting a day before the rally, and said he had never
fired a gun before. While there, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9mm
handgun, the complaint said.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco and Dan Whitcomb in
Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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