An Augusta man was arrested early Saturday after he was found with an illegal firearm in his possession, authorities report.
Robert Edward Canuette, 43, was charged with felony possession of dangerous weapons after deputies found a stolen .22-caliber rifle equipped with a silencer and a sawed-off barrel during a traffic stop, according to Richmond County jail records.
Richmond County sheriff’s deputies stopped Canuette about 3:50 a.m. after he was seen pulling a trailer with a flat tire near Third and Broad streets, according to an incident report.
While talking to Canuette, Deputy Christian Gandy saw the Marlin .22-caliber rifle on the rear floorboard of the truck. The barrel had been sawed off by unknown means, and the rifle was fitted with a silencer that appeared to be homemade, according to the report.
When Gandy ran the rifle’s serial number through the Georgia Crime Information Center, he learned it was reported stolen June 6, 1993.
After he was read his Miranda rights, Canuette told deputies that a friend had loaned the gun to him in 2010 for hunting and that he never got around to returning it. Canuette said he was unaware the weapon was stolen.
Investigators decided against charging Canuette with theft by receiving stolen property. The firearm was turned over to the sheriff’s office’s records division.