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Man accused of trying to contact Chelsea Clinton indicted

August 14, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A New Jersey man accused of repeatedly trying to contact Chelsea Clinton and the president has been indicted on charges he hid an unlicensed gun near the White House.

The Justice Department said Vladimir Zelenkov, 26, stored a Beretta .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun and 156 rounds of ammunition in a safety deposit box at a bank located across the street from the White House.

A D.C. Superior Court grand jury on Wednesday indicted Zelenkov on charges of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. If convicted, Zelenkov could receive seven years in prison and a $7,000 fine.

None of the charges involved his alleged contact _ which authorities will not specify _ with the Clintons.

``This case only has to do with the gun and that’s it,″ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Terence Keeney. ``They have nothing to do with the allegations relating to the president and his daughter.″

Secret Service agents in New Jersey arrested Zelenkov Aug. 6 at his home in Elizabeth for the outstanding weapons charges. He was freed a day later without bail by a federal magistrate, who told him to stop trying to contact Ms. Clinton and ordered him to appear in court in Washington on Monday.

But later that day, Zelenkov was arrested in New Jersey for driving with a suspended license. He remains in jail there while authorities arrange a hearing to bring him to Washington.

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