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Gun charges against third Illinois trooper dropped

By East St. Louis, Ill.

AP/KWMU – Federal weapons charges against the last of three Illinois State Police officers have been dropped.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in East St. Louis dismissed a charge of illegal possession of a machine gun against Special Agent John Yard of Collinsville.

Yard has agreed to accept responsibility and do 30 hours of community service.

Charges against Sergeant James Vest of O'Fallon and Senior Master Trooper Greg Mugge of Jerseyville already had been dismissed. The three were charged last year.

But the case collapsed after Vest raised an exception for police in the machine-gun law, and a federal judge ruled the law "unconstitutionally vague."

Mugge has retired. Yard and Vest were relieved of duty with pay pending an administrative review.