NSW Police during the arrest at Bunnings in Byron Bay.
NSW Police during the arrest at Bunnings in Byron Bay.

Man sentenced over bungled pistol purchase

A NORTH Coast man who tried to buy an illegal firearm from an undercover police officer has been sentenced.

Kingscliff man Anthony Charles Finocchiaro, 45, was arrested outside a Byron Bay hardware store on July 19 this year.

According to court documents, Finocchiaro engaged in communications through an online platform using cryptocurrency and made arrangements for the purchase of a Glock pistol.

But the person he was speaking with was an undercover police officer.

Court documents, revealed police felt there was a “low level of sophistication” in the way Finocchiaro used the online platform, in that he provided his full name and address, email address, a photo of himself and his driver’s licence to purchase bitcoins as part of the arrangement.

Finocchiaro had previously been a member of the Murwillumbah Rifle Club and was booked in to take part in a pistol safety course through the club but couldn’t complete it, because he was in custody at the time.

The court later granted him strict bail, which included certain conditions to allow him to attend church and hair appointments.

Finocchiaro had pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to acquire a pistol without a permit.

Before Byron Bay Local Court on Monday, Magistrate Karen Stafford sentenced him to a two year community corrections order.

The order, which expires on December 13, 2022, will require him to be under the supervision of Community Corrections for the period of the order.

He is also required to complete 100 hours of community service work.