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WEST UNION – A West Union man who had handled a murder weapon in 2018 has pleaded to federal weapons charges in connection with two other handguns.

Gilbert Lopez Jr., 33, formerly of Cresco, on Tuesday pleaded to two counts of unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm and one count of selling a stolen firearm in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

Authorities allege Lopez was a meth and marijuana user when he sold a stolen .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to another person on April 15. When police searched his home, he tossed a .38 pistol from a window the following day.

Court records show that others had brought to Lopez the 9mm pistol that had been used kill Zoanne Fullhart in Cresco in February 2018, and Lopez allegedly used baby wipes to clean the gun before it was seized by investigators.

The case was investigated by the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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