Saturday, March 4, 2017

Was This Pasadena Police Lieutenant Selling Illegal High Powered Assault Rifles Out Of His Sierra Madre Home?

Gun nut cop?
Mod: On last February 23 the Pasadena Weekly painstakingly pieced together the evidence we're relaying here. Recently agents from the ATF division of the US Department of Justice conducted a raid on the Sierra Madre home of a Pasadena Police Lieutenant by the name of Vasken Gourdikian. What they found there is described in the PW piece as "dozens of cases" of illegal "high-powered assault rifles." No SMPD report has been issued.

Cop in the Crosshairs (Pasadena Weekly link): A Pasadena police officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation after agents with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) searched his home last Thursday.

Property records obtained by the Pasadena Weekly list Lt. Vasken Gourdikian as the owner of the Sierra Madre home that was searched. A source close to the investigation who asked for anonymity confirmed Gourdikian is the officer in question.

As of Tuesday, Gourdikian had not been arrested and no charges had been filed against him. Gourdikian could not be reached for comment.

An out-of-office response was on his email as of Friday afternoon. Gourdikian has served as the public information officer (PIO) for the Pasadena Police Department since early 2016. Former PIO Lt. Tracey Ibarra is currently acting in that role on a temporary basis.

City officials said they did not know what role Gourdikian may play in an ATF investigation when contacted by the Weekly.

“At this time, the officer has not been arrested, nor are there any charges that have been filed to initiate an arrest,” said Pasadena Public Information Officer William Boyer, who declined to name the officer involved.

“The officer, like all people subject to an investigation, is presumed innocent until otherwise proven guilty. At this time, I cannot confirm the officer’s identity or other details about the officer,” Boyer said. “The ATF continues to investigate. Please direct your inquiries for any information about the investigation and search warrant to ATF. This is an ATF case, not Pasadena PD.”

According to an online resume, Gourdikian joined the department in 1994.

According to Boyer, the ATF investigation does not stem from work on any cases or his conduct at the Pasadena Police Department. The officer — he added — fully cooperated with ATF agents during the search.

Armed with a federal search warrant, ATF agents raided the home early on the morning of Feb. 16, according to Boyer.

The Weekly has filed a request for the search warrant with the ATF under the US Freedom of Information Act, which governs the release of federal documents.

The federal warrant, which contains information regarding the search, including items that authorities were seeking, is currently sealed. Federal warrants are typically unsealed 10 days after they expire or are executed. However, the department seeking the warrant may refuse to release the document if it determines it is pertinent to an ongoing investigation.

The ATF was closed on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day and agents working there could not be contacted for comment regarding this story. A representative for the agency did not return calls Tuesday.

According to Pasadena Patch, a KNX-AM (1070) reporter tweeted that a source indicated the officer was being investigated for alleged illegal gun sales.

According to CBS Channel 2 News, the officer’s Sierra Madre home was raided as part of a criminal investigation. Reporters said they saw numerous gun cases in the garage which was opened when ATF agents arrived. The door was closed almost  instantly and dozens of the cases were loaded into an SUV and a van.

“There were so many it took two vehicles to haul them away,” stated CBS reporter Jeff Nguyen.

CBS videos of the event on Thursday show federal vehicles parked at a property owned by Gourdikian during the raid, according to online records.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he was made aware of the federal investigation on Wednesday night, just hours before the raid. Officers with the Pasadena Police Department did not take part in the operation.

The department will now conduct an internal investigation.

“I was notified right before the warrant was served,” Sanchez told the Weekly on Monday morning. “Following the warrant and their preliminary investigation the employee was placed on administrative leave. At the same time, I have initiated an internal affairs investigation, which is independent of the ATF review.”


California law prohibits the department from releasing an officer’s disciplinary record and the results of the internal investigations.

Councilman John Kennedy told the Weekly that he hoped that Sanchez, along with City Manager Steve Mermell, would keep the council updated on the situation.

“It is my hope that the Pasadena police chief and the city manager will provide a full report in closed session,” said Kennedy, chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee which provides oversight of the Police and Fire departments. “It is important for … Mermell to release as much information to the public as legally permissible under the circumstances. It is important to remember that the presumption of innocence is a bedrock of our criminal justice system.”

However, laws barring the release of an officer’s personnel records could hamper any closed session discussion of the incident.

“Typically, we don’t discuss personnel matters with the council,” said Mermell, who said he has not spoken to ATF agents.

“Unless there is a basis for a closed session meeting, there won’t be one. It’s their investigation, and our guy is on admin leave. It’s being handled by another agency,” Mermell said.

Part of the ATF’s mission is to investigate illegal sales of firearms.

According to the ATF website, federal law requires that persons who are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms be licensed by the agency.

The penalty for dealing in firearms without a license could lead to both state and federal convictions. A state conviction could result in one year in prison per illegal sale, along with a $10,000 fine on each count. A federal conviction calls for five years behind bars, a $250,000 fine, or both.

In California, all gun sales must be completed through a licensed dealer. However, even a licensed dealer cannot sell high-powered assault rifles due to a law banning such weapons signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, which went into effect in January.

Fifty-caliber weapons and high–capacity magazines that contain 10 rounds or more of ammunition are also banned.

Penalties for possessing an assault rifle can lead to a three-year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine.

According to Boyer, officials in Pasadena are fully cooperating with the investigation.

“The city, the police chief and the city manager wish to emphasize that they take the matter with the utmost seriousness,” Boyer said. “The city and its representatives will continue to cooperate fully with the ATF investigators on this case.”

Mod: Since then the news trail has gone cold. These kinds of investigations are usually buried pretty quickly, especially when they involve Police officers. Notice all of the predictable "I know nothings" from the usual Pasadena pols and officials quoted above. However, there has been some speculation on the Pasadena Politics Facebook page. There is a lot of tension in Pasadena right now due to long standing unsolved shootings of civilians by the Pasadena PD, and that comes out in the following exchange.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

80 comments:

  1. Makes me wonder if the ATF has completed it's investigation of President Barrack Obama and his administration's trade and sale of the similar/same high power assult weapons to Mexican gun dealers. What ever happened with the investigations into the deaths of American Border Patrol Agents killed in the line of duty from the "illegal" and negotiated sale and trade of these Government ATF issued weapons?
    Sounds like since the new law on "banning" certain guns has gone into effect, the ATF is attempting to retrive some of their misplaced weapons that may have been used in on going investigations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least we know where the drugs went.

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    2. You mean Reagan and the Iran Contra scandal. Same old republican elite corruption.

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    3. 4:45 - ODS: Obama Derangement Syndrome.

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    4. If 4:45 is angry about that, s/he must be apoplectic about the thousands of American lives lost in W's wars, which were based on fabricated evidence and have cost over a trillion dollars.

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    5. Ever see the picture Dubya painted of himself and Vladimir Putin naked in the shower?
      http://www.dailyracingrag.com/bush/bush-shower-painting.jpg

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  2. Pretty scary if you ask me. At least he's not a member of SMPD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder why this Pasadena cop stashed all of those semi-automatic assault rifles in Sierra Madre? He figured he'd never get caught?

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    2. Not a member of SMPD, but it happened right under their nose. Lol

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    3. Anybody know where this loser lives?

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    4. Trump Tower

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  3. Paranoid death peddlers and their lifestyle obsession with guns and money...

    #whitepeopleproblems

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another trump lie: The Keystone XL oil pipeline won't use American steel in its construction, despite what President Donald Trump says.

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  5. "Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he was made aware of the federal investigation on Wednesday night, just hours before the raid. Officers with the Pasadena Police Department did not take part in the operation."

    That shows how much the Feds trust Sanchez.

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  6. C'mon. Lt. Vasken Gourdikian is paid over a quarter of a million dollars a year. Obviously the guns were an investment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried to post this on the City of Sierra Madre Facebook page and they blocked me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't do news. Just things that make city hall look good.

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    2. Maybe too snarky or not funny enough

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    3. Nah. They're narcissistic. If it isn't about them they aren't interested.

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  8. 7:18am. If I had the money, I would have "invested" with Gourdikian. After the California "gun" ban, on certain guns and amo, many people have made "investments".
    It sounds like "a mole" that bought from him, had a grudge.
    Don't understand the Pasadena Facebook comments, slanted views and no mention of Armenian Mafia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paranoid Trump troll still out of money and no job

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  9. No Drama Obama,has been caught wire tapping Trump Towers. It's true, he and President Nixon do have so much in common!
    The Historians will have a field day with Prez Obama's hidden agenda while in and out if office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump trades with Putin and other enemies of America. I am sure every intelligence agency worth its salt has just about everything the Orange Traitor communicated electronically. The best part of this is we will soon get to see and hear it all ourselves. Even the sex stuff. Then off goes Donald to Leavenworth!

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    2. Trump uses an unsecured cell phone. Pence uses an AOL account. Trust me, intelligence agencies everywhere know everything about these two incompetent old farts.

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    3. You are either naive or stupid, 9:00.

      ‘You’re in deep sh*t’: Lawmaker alerts Trump if phones were ‘tapped’ a judge found ‘probable cause of crime’
      http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/youre-in-deep-sht-lawmaker-alerts-trump-if-phones-were-tapped-a-judge-found-probable-cause-of-crime/

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    4. 9:00 is the racist trump troll who confessed to never in 8 years listening to a single speech Obama gave. Now he's goosestepping behind trump's accusation. But why trust the same birther who libeled Obama with the lie that he was not born in America.

      Trump is corrupt and the trolls who worship him will pay for his sins.

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    5. Why would Trump use an unsecured phone?

      Seems like a very convenient way for him to ensure that his Russian handlers can monitor the calls, thus directly communicating with them without a trace. Later he can claim he didn't know they were listening, passive voice "mistakes were made," etc.

      Delete
    6. Trump wet himself with joy over Wikileaks. Now he's upset because US intelligence agencies got a court order and tapped his phones? Laughable.

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    7. 'I Believe They Exist': Democratic Senator Says 'There Are Transcripts' Regarding Russia and Trump

      With President Donald Trump taking to Twitter this morning to accuse former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones at Trump Tower, an interview by a Democratic lawmaker yesterday has taken on a bit more significance.

      Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell following news of Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from any investigations into Trump’s campaign, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) suggested that the intelligence community is in possession of transcripts of conversations between Russia and the Trump campaign.

      Asked by Mitchell if the FBI director has been forthcoming with congressional intelligence committees regarding the investigation into Trump/Russia, Coons explained how important it was for the information to be made public.

      “It’s important for the outcome of that counterintelligence investigation be fully shared with the intelligence committees both in the House and the Senate,” Coons said. “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not the Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders including Vladimir Putin were cooperating — were colluding — with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election.”

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/i-believe-they-exist-democratic-senator-says-there-are-transcripts-regarding-russia-and-trump/

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    8. Obama wiretapping Trump Tower? If wiretapping happened it was an agency like the FBI with a warrant approved by a judge. But if Obama had some advance knowledge of it, mark it as yet another act of patriotism by an intelligent gentleman who meant it when he swore to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic, including Traitors in Trump Tower.

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    9. Trump will go down in history as one of the most evil men this country ever produced. A traitor who will end his term in a prison cell.

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    10. Trump is tweeting lies about a lot of folks today. And they're all hitting back.

      Arnold Schwarzenegger HAMMERS Trump For Claiming He Was Fired From ‘Celebrity Apprentice’
      http://addictinginfo.org/2017/03/04/arnold-schwarzenegger-hammers-trump-for-claiming-he-was-fired-from-celebrity-apprentice/

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  10. Nah; definetly not born in Kenya, his mom couldn't afford to follow his father when he left.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does Sierra madre have any ordinances about the possession of illegal semi-automatic assault weapons? And if so, why haven't any of our fine police officers arrested this crazy idiot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Local police didn't know and weren't informed until the day of. Read the article

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    2. Umm, you mean to say they couldn't have arrested him the day (or even the week) after?

      Delete
  12. Last night I went out to dinner at Olive Garden with my wife and daughter. As we are getting into the car a black truck with two white guys around late 20s to early 30s pulls up behind my car in the parking lot and yelled "Fuck you commie" and "We won" which I'm guessing is because I have a PROUD DEMOCRAT and HILLARY bumper sticker on my car. As they took off in a plume of black smoke and screeching tires I noticed he had a Trump sticker and one of those "my family" gun nut stickers.

    I was shocked and saddened that someone would harass my family like this, especially in front of my daughter, and ruin our nice night out. On the drive home I was tearing up thinking that this is what our country has become. My amazing wife consoled me before I really broke down but I tried to hold it together in front of my daughter. I am scared of the world that she will grow up in. A world of hate. A world that will be defined by a vile, racist, sexist, Islamophobic woman groper. Unless we can impeach him soon.

    I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I really do.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear. Totally agree.

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    2. Hopefully, the light won't be accompanied by a mushroom cloud.

      If an investigation gets too close, especially if impeachment is seriously floated in the House, Trump will wag the dog by launching a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. There's already support for such an attack (Obama considered it), it would be a great distraction, and it's probably inevitable anyway.

      Given Trump's propensity for coming out on top notwithstanding his business failures, stiffing of employees and contractors, abject vulgarity, and bromance with Putin, toppling the North Korean regime will embolden him and his supporters, even though the military plans were developed under Obama.

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    3. Us military junta been obsessed with n Korea long before Obama

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    4. 4F Donald would love to be a hero. No matter how many of our military lives it costs us.

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    5. Well I agree if I saw you with a Hillary sticker on your car Id tell you the same thing.

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    6. Putin kills his political opponents. I guess that makes Trump a pussy.

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  13. We must seriously consider the idea that conservatives *welcomed* Russian dirty tricks,
    to "save" America from becoming a multiracial democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Are you the same blogger that mentioned a truck and the Confederate Flags, back a few weeks ago? Time for some new material and a bigger box of Kleenex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not I. But it is true that Trump has enabled certain louts to unleash their inner a**hole.

      Delete
    2. Kleenex smeenex. I use the Confederate flag when I need toilet paper.

      Delete
    3. Relax 1:06. You align yourself with the people who riot, loot, burn and destroy other peoples property because they are upset about the outcome of the election. Their inner a**hole spends a lot of time out rather than in.

      Delete
    4. How's Milo? Has he had sex with your kids yet?

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    5. 2:35 is Milo

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    6. Hide the babies.

      Delete
  15. 12:28pm. Were you ever allowed to play outside when you were a child? or have you always been so sheltered?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How old were you when your parents sent you to live in the basement? 30?

      Delete
  16. So funny the hear right wing fanatics cry about supposed wire tapping. When Snowden told the American people the gov was eavesdropping they labeled him a traitor.

    He's the only real hero to come out of the gov in the past decade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funn to think that Wikileaks has now been supplanted in the body politic by US intelligence agencies. The Idiot Trump is toast.

      Delete
  17. Trump is a political and government novice, and this is not the first time he has put his complete ignorance of governmental laws on show for the world to see via Twitter. It would be in his best interests – and in the best interests of the country – for him to start educating himself on the laws and procedures that apply to the government he now runs.

    After all, he did audition for the job.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Trump's wires haven't been tapped--they're just crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, his marionette wires the Russian mob is holding
      Just like training day

      Delete
  19. This is what happens when Armenians are given the power of authority. Just like our Armomenian mayor John Harbedian. I guarantee they have a connection someway somehow. I grew up in Glendale and have experience how this ethnic group has taken over what was once a nice community to live. Glendale the largest population of Armos in the US has many Russian mafia connections. Ill bet a weeks salary this camel jockey has similar connections.

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    Replies
    1. Week's salary? I'll see your $32 and I'll raise ya.

      Ps- camel jockey? Keep it classy, redneck

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    2. Jim is the same wingnut that was complaining about The Tattler dividing the community yesterday. I don't think we need division, we need to quarantine people like Jim.

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    3. Jim is on to something here. Just google Vasken Gourdikian + AGBU and Vasken Gourdikian + Middle East Club. You will find the search results to be very illuminating.

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  20. The conversation today has gotten increasingly ugly.
    It's the Trump effect.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Random thoughts about the post.
    1) Ann Erdman is bitter and secretly wants her job back. No one is better suited to cover up the looking glass reality that is Pasadena.
    2) Any crackhead with internet access could have written the weak Weekly article.
    3) The Star-News and Pasadena Now are incapable of real reporting.
    4) There is a real likelihood the PPD has been infiltrated by the Russian/Armenian Mob, which is why ATF is involved.
    Questions that haven't been asked:
    1) where did the guns come from?
    Confiscations?
    Buy-backs?
    2) Who were they sold to?
    Mafia types?
    Street gangs?
    3) Why does Weekly hero Victor Gordo get a pass for protecting the PD?
    4) why is thug jasmine richards allowed to lie about having seen the warrant?
    This story is deep, the reporting is very shallow. We need the Tattler to crack this case...

    ReplyDelete
  22. 3:03pm. Gay bashing. You must be the same sexist, bigot that trolls this site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pedophilia is not gay. You lying jerk.

      Delete
    2. No bashing going on there. Milo got canned because of his pedophllic remarks. That's still illegal, regardless of the perpetrators gender preference.

      You should know better

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    3. It is a Breitbart lie. Equating being gay with child molesting.

      Delete
  23. TRUMP WENT ‘BALLISTIC’ IN THE OVAL OFFICE – EMBARRASSING TANTRUM DETAILS IMMEDIATELY LEAKED TO PRESS
    http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/news/trump-went-ballistic-in-the-oval-office-embarrassing-tantrum-details-immediately-leaked-to-press/

    ReplyDelete

  24. I think Donald Trump is very afraid at this moment. I think he knows that the lid's about to blow off, and he's scrambling to raise some sort of smoke screen with his tweets, ect. But, there's so much he doesn't know. He knows that he's vulnerable and that there is stuff out there that would end his presidency, but he doesn't know who knows what and when it will become public.

    He is acting like someone who is on the edge of panic due to fear of what is unknown. He knows what he's trying to hide, and just can't be sure if someone already has that information or not. I'm sure he's quite beside himself, which is why he's hiding out at Mar-a-Lago this weekend, once again.

    Trump is afraid that it's all about to crumble down around him, and he has no clue when or how to prevent the collapse. We may be on the verge of something, but I'm not certain yet exactly what it is. Watch the headlines and breaking news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Why are Trump supporters so foul mouthed?

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    3. They gargle with swamp water

      Delete
  25. Where do I start.....whoever wrote the article above is an uniformed idiot!!!!

    Several points....illegal magazines are not 10 or more rounds. The correct information is any magazine that holds MORE than 10 rounds. 10 round magazines are legal. It also says that law enforcement officials are exempt and are legally allowed to posses and use high capacity magazines.

    Next, rifles are not illegal, nor are the so called assault weapons as long as they are California compliant (and I don't recall anyone saying they confiscated illegal weapons) even though left wing liberal scumbags claim that they are all unnecessary and illegal. Fact is they wouldnt know a legal from illegal gun to save their lives and say they have no need for them. That's great for them, but that does not mean that the rest of us are not entitled to posses and own them legally.

    Third, selling firearms is also not illegal. You can even advertise on specific sites and you can legally go to an FFL nearby and legally do the transfer And I'm pretty sure this officer did just that. It is public information if you are so inclined to do any sort of proper research which this blog is sorely missing.

    Owning guns, as many as you can afford is not illegal so the fact that they filled 2 trucks as the newreporter stated is not an issue. They could have filled a semi truck and that would not be wrong under our laws. As long as they were purchased from an FFL you can but as many as you want.

    I will be happy to School anyone here that has further comments.

    ReplyDelete
  26. A Sikh Man Was Shot On His Driveway And Allegedly Told, “Go Back To Your Own Country”
    The man sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Local police in Washington have reached out to the FBI as they investigate the case.

    I hate white trash

    ReplyDelete
  27. Common knowledge that he had strong ties to Armenians in Pasadena that were known to be less than reputable in their business dealings...also common knowledge that the Pasadena Police department has been a mess for years...tragically the joke is on them since they made this individual their public information officer..this only scratches the surface...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Only 158K per year? I remember the days when doctors were paid more than police officers. Nowadays, 158K per year for a police LT is considered underpaid. No wonder California is again seeing fiscal problems in years to come. Not to mention CalPERS. Who knows where CalPERS will be in a few years...

    ReplyDelete
  29. For Immediate Release
    Thursday, June 30, 2016
    Phillip A. Talbert
    , United States Attorney
    Contact: Lauren Horwood
    916-554-2706
    www.justice.gov/usao-edca
    Former Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Unlawful Sale of Firearms
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ryan McGowan, 34, of Elk Grove, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley to 18 months in prison and a $7,000 fine for dealing firearms without a license and for conspiracy to make a false statement on a firearms record, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

    Former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy McGowan and his co-defendant Robert Snellings were convicted last year following a jury trial. Snellings, 64, of Rancho Murieta, a former federal firearms licensee, was sentenced last week to one year in prison.

    Under state law, California has an approved roster of firearms that may be sold to the public. A federal firearms licensee is required to make sure any handgun sold is on the approved roster. There is an exemption, however, for peace officers to purchase certain firearms known as “off-roster” firearms. Peace officers who own off-roster firearms may sell them in a private sale, so long as it is brokered by a federal firearms licensee. They may not, however, use these private sales to conduct a business whose principal objective is livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.

    According to evidence produced at trial, McGowan used his position as a deputy sheriff to purchase off-roster guns at retail price and then because the firearms could not be purchased directly by the general public, resold them at an inflated price on the private market in California. From 2008 to 2011, McGowan purchased 41 handguns and sold 25 of them within a year after purchase. Thirty-three of the guns were purchased through Snellings Firearms, which was owned by co-defendant Snellings. Some of those weapons were then transferred back to Snellings personally, thereby allowing Snellings to own the weapons himself or sell them to the public.

    Both defendants were found guilty of conspiracies to make false statements in federal firearms records. In order to circumvent the restrictions on purchasing off-roster firearms, they falsely stated on ATF forms that a police officer was the actual purchaser when the actual purchaser of the off roster handgun was intended to be a non-officer who was not permitted to buy the gun. Therefore, McGowan and other police officers were acting as a straw purchasers who then transferred the handguns to the real purchasers within a short period of time.

    ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill A. Snyder stated: “Ryan McGowan used his position as a law enforcement officer to purchase firearms and sell them illegally. In doing so, he violated federal law and public trust.”

    This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the active involvement of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and the Sacramento Police Department. The Roseville Police Department and other law enforcement agencies assisted. Assistant United States Attorneys William S. Wong and Michael D. Anderson prosecuted the case.

    ####

    Field Division: San Francisco Field Division

    ReplyDelete

  30. Under state law, California has an approved roster of firearms that may be sold to the public. A federal firearms licensee is required to make sure any handgun sold is on the approved roster. There is an exemption, however, for peace officers to purchase certain firearms known as “off-roster” firearms. Peace officers who own off-roster firearms may sell them in a private sale, so long as it is brokered by a federal firearms licensee. They may not, however, use these private sales to conduct a business whose principal objective is livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.

    According to evidence produced at trial, McGowan used his position as a deputy sheriff to purchase off-roster guns at retail price and then because the firearms could not be purchased directly by the general public, resold them at an inflated price on the private market in California. From 2008 to 2011, McGowan purchased 41 handguns and sold 25 of them within a year after purchase. Thirty-three of the guns were purchased through Snellings Firearms, which was owned by co-defendant Snellings. Some of those weapons were then transferred back to Snellings personally, thereby allowing Snellings to own the weapons himself or sell them to the public.

    Both defendants were found guilty of conspiracies to make false statements in federal firearms records. In order to circumvent the restrictions on purchasing off-roster firearms, they falsely stated on ATF forms that a police officer was the actual purchaser when the actual purchaser of the off roster handgun was intended to be a non-officer who was not permitted to buy the gun. Therefore, McGowan and other police officers were acting as a straw purchasers who then transferred the handguns to the real purchasers within a short period of time.

    ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill A. Snyder stated: “Ryan McGowan used his position as a law enforcement officer to purchase firearms and sell them illegally. In doing so, he violated federal law and public trust.”

    This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the active involvement of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and the Sacramento Police Department. The Roseville Police Department and other law enforcement agencies assisted. Assistant United States Attorneys William S. Wong and Michael D. Anderson prosecuted the case.

    ####

    Field Division: San Francisco Field Division

    ReplyDelete