- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A Canadian man has been ordered held on charges of bringing a .22 caliber handgun into the United States at the North Troy port of entry.

Jean-Pierre Bellemare appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Wednesday.

Court documents say the 51-year-old Bellemare has an extensive criminal record in Canada and was arrested Sept. 20 when he entered Vermont. He told the border agent he was headed to Wal-Mart to make a purchase.

The handgun was found in a backpack.

In addition to the semi-automatic pistol, the border agents found an unsheathed, double-sided knife, a Halloween mask, spools of wire and rubber gloves. Bellemare told the agents he could not lawfully possess the firearm in Canada.

Bellemare’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

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