A convict was arrested near Frisco after he was allegedly caught with a rifle in a temporary shelter last week, according to a statement from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Matthew Guy Ward, 42, is facing charges of third-degree criminal trespass and felon in possession of a firearm, a low-level felony offense.
Ward was taken into custody after a passerby walking his dog reportedly noticed a rifle leaning up against a tree beside a campsite on the Giberson Ranch property north of Frisco, according to the statement. The individual returned the next day and tried to contact Ward, who was inside the shelter, but Ward refused to come out. As he was leaving, the witness heard a gunshot coming from the campsite and contacted the authorities, according to the sheriff’s office.
Law enforcement responded at 4 p.m. May 9 and found Ward. He allegedly admitted to camping in the area but denied firing his rifle.
Authorities report he has several prior felony convictions, making it illegal for him to possess a gun.
Ward was arrested in Summit County in 2008 and 2009 on charges of fleeing from law enforcement. The second time he was attempting to avoid arrest for a burglary in Mississippi, according to information included in his criminal history report.
He was booked for his most recent charge at the Summit County Jail on a $2,000 bond.
Ward faces up to 18 months in jail and $100,000 in fines for possessing a firearm. The trespassing charge carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or $500 in fines.