LEWISTON – A Lewiston man has been sentenced to nearly two years in federal prison for making false claims when trying to by a gun and again while applying for a court-appointed lawyer.

Thomas Coty, 25, was sentenced to 20 months for making a false statement on a firearms acquisition form and committing perjury on a financial declaration to obtain court-appointed counsel. According to court records, Coty attempted to purchase a firearm for a prohibited person from a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Lewiston in March 2006.

Specifically, Coty made a statement on the firearms acquisition form denying the fact that he had an active protection-from-abuse order pending against him, which prohibited him from possessing a firearm.

Coty was indicted by a federal grand jury for the false statement on June 20. According to prosecutors, on June 29, during an initial appearance in federal court, Coty swore to the truth of a written financial declaration in his name under penalty of perjury, which stated that he was unemployed and had been since April when he had a job. Records from the United States District Court show that Coty’s application for court-appointed counsel was granted based on his financial declaration. Coty pleaded guilty to both charges.

United States Attorney Paula Silsby said that the investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the FBI.

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