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S.L. MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN `OPERATION PUNCHOUT’ THEFT

SHARE S.L. MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN `OPERATION PUNCHOUT’ THEFT

A Salt Lake man arrested last week on theft charges as part of the continuing "Operation Punchout" investigation pleaded not guilty Monday.

Paul E. Sherrick Jr., 33, the former owner of P&L Firearms of Salt Lake, entered the plea during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Ronald Boyce.Sherrick was arrested May 15 and charged with taking combat clothing and other equipment from Hill Air Force Base and selling it to undercover agents.

He was released on his own recognizance and will stand trial before U.S. District Judge David Winder. No trial date was set.

Operation Punchout became public last July when a pair of military policemen were charged with arranging the sale of three F-16 jet engines from Hill. The Air Force recovered the engines.

The "sting" was a joint effort by the FBI, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service and the Air Force's Office of Special Investigation.

Sherrick's was the second arrest last week. David Lynn Stevenson, 40, Layton, was arrested May 17 for selling explosives to a confidential informant May 27, 1989.

The explosives included C-4, which had been stolen from an unidentified local military installation, said FBI Agent Tim Screen.

Stevenson pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday and was released on his own recognizance. However, Boyce required Stevenson to sign a $5,000 bond to guarantee his appearance for trial before U.S. District Judge Thomas Greene.