Saturday, June 30, 2001

Police accuse man of illegal gun sales

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Weeks of investigating the circulation of guns in Over-the-Rhine ended with the bust of a street vendor officers say likely supplied a lot of the weapons used in the neighborhood's recent rash of shootings.

        After an undercover officer bought a gun from Dwight Plair, investigators arrested him and recovered eight rifles and semi-automatic handguns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

        “Some of these are almost what you would call combat weapons,” said Sgt. Jeff Hunt. “These are not your typical kind of home-protection guns.”

        Mr. Plair was arrested Wednesday and charged with six counts of having weapons under disability. He is a convicted felon imprisoned for robbery and, in 1968, shooting at a Cincinnati police officer. SWAT team members found the weapons after searching the storefront at 15th and Vine streets, outside which Mr. Plair sold knives and swords at a stand, and at his residence nearby on Republic Street.

        “I believe he probably put a lot of these guns out there,” said Lt. Kim Frey. “He was selling guns to anybody who had the right amount of money, right out on the street.”

        Chief Tom Streicher called the bust “some really good police work, a good hit.”

        Sgt. Hunt said investigators hope to link Mr. Plair to some of the weapons used in Over-the-Rhine crimes.


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