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Halfway-house felon charged in weapons purchase

Posted April 10, 2010

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— A convicted bank robber living in a halfway house in Raleigh was indicted Thursday on federal charges that he bought weapons as part of a plot to commit another bank robbery.

John Charles Rannazisi, 49, of Raleigh, was indicted of one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors said that on March 16, Rannazisi purchased two Glock pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle from an undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He was then arrested.

At the time, Rannazisi was living in a halfway house after completing a federal sentence for bank robbery.

"Just because someone is completing a federal prison sentence does not mean that we turn our attention completely to other cases," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said in a statement.

"Here, extreme vigilance and prompt action by authorities stopped a convicted felon in his tracks and may have averted a future tragedy," he continued. "All of us should be grateful to the involved investigators."

Rannazisi was being held Saturday in the Wake County jail without bond.

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