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City residents face firearms charges

Cayruth allegedly lied about stolen rifle, police said

Charges were filed Thursday against two Altoona residents after police learned a man lied about selling a firearm, court documents stated.

Dana A. Cayruth, 55, reported his assault-rifle-style .22 caliber Mossberg was stolen June 11, but Cayruth later admitted he sold it to Leon Williams, 56, with the understanding he could buy it back at a later date, Altoona police reported.

Initially, Cayruth told police the weapon was stolen in 2020 while he was being evicted, potentially by Williams, also known as “Soup Bone,” who helped Cayruth and his daughter move out of their old address, court documents stated.

Before police questioned Williams, Cayruth stepped forward and admitted his previous story was a lie, which his daughter allegedly concocted to cover up the potential of an illegal firearms sale, police reported.

Williams told police he purchased the weapon for $300 to help Cayruth through a hard time, and while he intended to sell the firearm back, a falling out between the two made him change his mind, court documents stated.

Williams, who has prior convictions that prevent him from owning a firearm in Pennsylvania, was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones on a single felony charge of possessing a firearm while prohibited. He was released on an unsecured bail of $25,000, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for today with Jones, court documents stated.

Cayruth was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Matthew Dunio on a felony firearms charge and two misdemeanors related to providing a false account to police. Unable to post his $15,000 cash bail, Cayruth is jailed at the Blair County Prison, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 30 with Jones, court documents stated.

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