Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pasadena Police Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian may have used online forum to sell dozens of ‘off-roster’ guns

Mod: There have been a few articles this week revealing new information about the Vasken Gourdikian gun running affair. The Pasadena Star News iteration being notable (link). But today we're going with the Guns.com version. As we happily surmised much earlier than most, this scandal could go far higher than just the Lieutenant. It might go all of the way up to Pasadena Chief of Police Sanchez himself.

Lieutenant may have used online forum to sell dozens of ‘off-roster’ guns (Guns.com link): A police lieutenant in California who’s home was raided earlier this year may have been selling firearms on a popular online gun forum for the last four years, possibly violating state and federal laws that prevent officers from turning a profit for certain gun sales.

Federal authorities seized 57 guns from Pasadena Police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian’s Sierra Madre home in February, at least 18 of which were so-called ‘off-roster’ guns. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, an account on the Calguns website (link) with the handle “vgourdik” posted dozens of ads to sell guns.

From 2013 until earlier this year, vgourdik posted more than 70 times offering to sell guns and gun parts, including 15 rifles and 47 pistols. At least 63 of the listings were later flagged as “sold.”

“I’m listing for an LEO (law enforcement officer) friend who qualified twice with it and carried it less than six months,” vgourdik wrote in a Calguns post offering up a Sig Sauer .45 caliber pistol. “Comes with 10 magazines which is about 200 dollars alone..Great value please pm and I can place you in touch with seller.”

Most listings were edited to remove the price after the guns were sold. But the 21 posts where the asking price was left in totaled nearly $31,000. Of the 70 total listings, 43 of them offered to sell off-roster guns.

In California, there’s a roster of handguns that residents can legally buy. If you’re a police officer, however, you can buy guns that aren’t on that roster — thus ‘off-roster’ guns. Cops can sell these weapons to civilians as long as they aren’t trying to turn a profit. They’d need a Federal Firearms License to do that. Gourdikian didn’t have one of those.

He hasn’t been charged with anything, and the ATF isn’t providing many details about the investigation. Gourdikian is on paid leave pending an internal investigation and has declined to comment since the February raid.

On Wednesday, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez signed off on at least four waivers for Gourdikian, allowing him to bypass the 10-day waiting period on the purchase of several pistols. Gourdikian acquired seven total waivers from the department. Five guns associated with the waivers were recovered during the federal raid, but the whereabouts of two others are unknown. Six of the waivers were for off-duty use and were not intended for resale.

“All I can say is that in a comparison of the firearms noted in the letters that were released to you yesterday vs. the ATF list, there is a known discrepancy,” said Pasadena Spokesman William Boyer in an email to the paper. “Due to the federal and PPD investigations, I cannot say anything more about the firearms.”

In late March, just six weeks after Gourdikian’s home was raided, Eric Harden, the ATF’s special agent in charge in Los Angeles, issued a memo to police agencies throughout the state of California. He warned officers that they’d be violating federal law if they bought off-roster and crime scene guns and then tried to sell them for a profit without a license.

“It is our goal to educate, not investigate, to ensure law enforcement officials comply with federal law in order to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment,” Harden wrote, adding “when presented with compelling evidence of flagrant violations of federal firearms laws, ATF is obligated to conduct a criminal investigation.”

Mod: Some folks had commented on the blog a while back that this story was overblown, and in the end Gourdikian would be shown to be innocent and resume his duties on the Pasadena PD. If wishes were wings, all would fly. I hope they are now preparing themselves to eat some peppery crow.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

22 comments:

  1. "The sickie sadist who hides behind his police badge
    To commit crimes of violence against other people
    Whatever role they are playing
    These creeps are always the same
    Because a pig is a pig
    And that's that!"
    Rod Swenson & Jean Beauvoir 1984

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    1. *Actually released in 1981-"Beyond the valley of 1984" album by Plasmatics

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  2. Kaw,kaw. STD Special Agent Harden wrote, he wanted to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment.
    Alright, I admit that I am embarrassed that I had a good four years available for the purchase of off-roster guns; some that were previously listed I would have paid top dollar.
    Like any thing else in the USA, it's the politician's looking to tax us more.
    Not having a Federal license to sell, well that's right up there with Hillary charging money for her new book tour fees she demands; because again, she says she's broke and continues to blame the Russians for her lousy campaign and notable loss.

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    1. Creative. But blaming Hillary for Vourdikian's illegal gun peddling internet scam? Bit of a stretch.

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    2. Hillary is responsible for global warming. Which doesn't exist.

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    3. Why be a coward?

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    4. In what way?

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  3. 7:23am. Good to know, I thought Al Gore was responsible; distribution of profit shares and all that non existences global warming internet stuff.

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  4. So the Pasadena Police Department was running its illegal gun selling operation out of Sierra Madre? Where is the Sierra Madre PD on this? Are they outraged and demanding an investigation?

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

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    2. The SMPD cannot comment because this is an ongoing investigation. One that will likely never end.

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  5. I look forward to the upcoming announcement from Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek about his regrets over the sudden retirement of Chief Sanchez. After years of dedicated service, the Chief will have decided it is time to move on. Something that will effectively padlock this story and focus all possible blame on Lt. Gourdikian.

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  6. OMG. Officers at the Los Angeles Airport will now have assault rifles ready to take down terrorists. Do "you" think the government had to pay special Federal taxes before issuing those guns? Maybe not, surely one agent obtained a special sales license.

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    1. The Feds are also mulling over confiscating laptops at airports. Fun!

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  7. There seems to be lots of issues 1. There are several officers involved 2. There were no issued federal fire arm licences to seel those guns 3. Did gordikian buy those impounded guns from the chief? The chief did not own those guns? What did the chief do with the money? Where did the moneg go ? Were these guns sold to street gangs? We're the imonies reported to the irs? 4. It's 25 years of jail time guys!

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    1. If I were Gourdikian I'd make a deal with the Feds and sing like a canary.

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  8. Replies
    1. Choipin' like a boidy."

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  9. The street gangs and the Pasadena PD have joined forces to "shake down" the citizens for more money; make it rain!

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  10. The good news for this person sworn to protect that he'll at least be familiar with his first holding spot being that of Pasadena PD jail.

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  11. I'm not defending or condemning anyone, I'm just going to let some of you guys know what some of this means. An off roster gun does not mean a machine gun or some crazy kind of merchant of death. I don't know how CA comes up with this list, and what their criteria is. For example the Glock 42 and Glock 43 are off roster guns. The Glock 42 is a small frame 380 and the 43 is about the same size and is a 9mm. There are several similar guns to these that are on the roster, meaning they can be sold new to the general public. An off roster gun cannot be purchased at a gun store by the general public, but can be legally purchased 2nd hand from someone who can legally purchase, like a police officer. I had an off roster handgun and upgraded to a different off roster handgun. Since I have no desire to be a gun collector, I legally sold the first gun. No problems, all recorded and done legally. The problem comes when you sell several. You end up on ATF's radar, but that still doesn't mean you broke any laws.

    Chief's letter. No conspiracy here. If you are a cop and purchasing a gun, most police chiefs will sign the waiting period waiver. The difference of having the waiver is the waiting period. Nothing more.

    The ATF has been willing to prosecute in the past so if Gourdikian did something wrong, they will go after him. The amount of guns he had were not that unusual. Many gun owners become gun collectors. We'll just wait and see what happens.

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