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  • Feds to push for five-year sentence for man with gun

    Amoroso was found with a firearm in parking lot of Grants Pass-North Medford football game
  • Saying that he presents a "grave danger" to society and previously had threatened to kill teachers and students, federal prosecutors are seeking a stiff sentence for a Grants Pass man who pleaded guilty in August to carrying a gun on school grounds.
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  • Saying that he presents a "grave danger" to society and previously had threatened to kill teachers and students, federal prosecutors are seeking a stiff sentence for a Grants Pass man who pleaded guilty in August to carrying a gun on school grounds.
    The government will make its case Monday in U.S. District Court in Medford that Raphael Amoroso, 27, should spend the next five years in federal prison.
    Amoroso was arrested on Oct. 7, 2011, in the Grants Pass High School parking lot on the night of a football game between Grants Pass and North Medford High School.
    A Grants Pass Department of Public Safety officer pulled over Amoroso's car as it left the parking lot that evening.
    According to a sentencing memo released by federal prosecutors, Amoroso appeared to be intoxicated, with the odor of alcohol and marijuana coming from his car.
    The officer found a baggie of marijuana in the car, a camouflage jacket, a green backpack with binoculars inside and a marijuana pipe.
    In addition, Amoroso indicated he had a loaded firearm in the car, along with a book about "a football stadium massacre by a deranged sniper and the resulting chaos from the stampede as people fled in fear," the memo said.
    A further search of the car turned up 200 rounds of ammunition and a loaded .45 caliber handgun. A book called "The Outlaw Bible" also was discovered. The book was marked with passages highlighting the process to conceal handguns to avoid law enforcement searches.
    A document was found on Amoroso titled "What Kind of Terrorist Are You?" The document was a printout from a website that discussed the "War on Terrorism" and how it affects peoples' lives around the world.
    The document ends by stating, "We are all terrorists now ... . It is just a matter of picking your affiliation. Home Grown? Islamic? Single Issue? Or Al Quaida (sic)?"
    The next day, officers searched Amoroso's home and found eight additional firearms, 2,200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a ballistic helmet and a camouflage suit.
    Police also found a handwritten note describing how to produce explosives from chemical compounds.
    This was enough for federal prosecutors to argue that Amoroso needs to spend five years in prison.
    The government says that Amoroso's past behavior, coupled with the latest charges, paints a picture of someone who may someday act out violently toward society.
    "(Amoroso's) history and characteristics show he has a disturbing mental perspective and has the ability to amass weapons, explosives and large amounts of ammunition," the memo said.
    Prosecutors said Amoroso in 1999 wrote on a classroom desk, "I want to take a gun to school and blow away the faculty. When I am done with that, I'll systematically kill every student I can."
    In August 2000, Amoroso was convicted of shooting at a jetboat with a pellet gun, striking a passenger in the face.
    Prosecutors go on to argue that Amoroso's antisocial behavior is escalating and that he should serve a "lengthy sentence" to "protect the public."
    Prosecutors provided copies of Amoroso's handwritten jailhouse letters as part of the sentencing recommendation.
    Amoroso doesn't make any overt threatening statements in the letters but does curse the prosecutors seeking to imprison him. He also lashes out at his own attorneys, saying "they haven't done a thing for me."
    Prosecutors say the letters show Amoroso has a high level of intelligence and that he is fully aware of his actions without accepting any blame.
    U.S. District Judge Owen Panner agreed to release Amoroso from jail in August. Panner said he did not believe Amoroso was an immediate threat, The Associated Press reported.
    Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or cconrad@mailtribune.com.
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