Saturday, June 2, 2018

Gun Sold By Indicted Pasadena Police Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian Was Found At Crime Scene

The presently retired Chief Junta Hat Sanchez
Mod: Apparently a series of events that eventually led to the seizure of a rather large cache of restricted weaponry by Federal agents at Vasken's Sierra Madre home first began with the unfortunate discovery of a gun at a crime scene. A gun that had originally been sold by the very entrepreneurial Lt. Gourdikian.  

ATF’s investigation into Pasadena police officers began with a gun seized at a crime scene (San Gabriel Valley Tribune link): A gun purchased by a Pasadena police officer turned up at a crime scene less than three years later and launched a federal investigation into illegal weapon sales throughout Southern California, according to newly released emails.

Now-retired Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez was notified in November 2016 by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives official in Los Angeles that one of his officers was linked to a gun recovered by another police department. Though the email is marked confidential, city officials released it this week through a public records request.

“As discussed, it appears one of your officers has been engaged in the business of dealing firearms without a license in violation of federal and California firearm laws,” wrote Eric Harden, the former agent in charge of the ATF office in Los Angeles. “Additionally, an ATF trace indicates the officer was the original purchaser of a firearm recovered by a neighboring police department with a short time to crime (time from original purchase to recovery). Hence, ATF is conducting an investigation of alleged unlicensed firearms dealing.”

The email does not disclose the name of the officer, but four months later the ATF raided the home of Lt. Vasken Gourdikian and seized dozens of guns. Gourdikian was indicted this year for selling more than 100 firearms without a license. His indictment does not mention any crimes committed with those firearms, though it does accuse him of not disclosing the fact that he was knowingly buying the weapons for other people.

Mod: When the now indicted former Lt. Vasken Gourdikian was employed by that den of iniquity known as the Pasadena Police Department, he apparently was the gentleman who fashionable people could turn to for their specialty firearms needs. 

Vasken would have hooked you up
Wife of retired Pasadena police chief tried to buy a gun through a lieutenant later indicted by federal authorities (San Gabriel Valley Tribune link): The wife of Pasadena’s former police chief asked a lieutenant on the force to help her buy a World War II-era rifle one month before federal agents raided his Sierra Madre home and seized dozens of firearms.

The exchange raises questions about whether retired Chief Phillip Sanchez knew his assistant was selling firearms before the raid. The chief would have overseen the department’s internal investigation into Lt. Vasken Gourdikian if the review had not been frozen at the request of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Gourdikian was indicted in March 2018 on charges of illegally selling more than 100 guns. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

That same month, City Manager Steve Mermell and Sanchez met and agreed that Sanchez would retire, according to a city spokeswoman.

City officials became aware of emails exchanged between Gourdikian and Deborah Sanchez nearly a year before the police chief announced his retirement, according to spokeswoman Lisa Derderian. It was never reviewed as a potential conflict for the chief.

Mod: Pasadena, a city that is today experiencing some rather tight finances, pays the now retired Chief Phillip Sanchez quite a handsome pension. Up until his rather sudden retirement recently this is what Junta Hat was pulling down. Courtesy of Transparent California (link).


Mod: At 5:40 AM this morning an informed commenter pointed out a Pasadena Weekly article that indicates Chief Sanchez was aware Lt. Gourdikian was selling "off roster" guns illegally. The article describes a Glendale "Blue Smoke" charity poker game held a few years before the Sierra Madre ATF raid. 

Police investigated controversial officer three years ago on gun complaint (Pasadena Weekly link): Three years ago, the Pasadena Police Department was asked to investigate a claim about gambling during a social event attended by officers and local politicians at a restaurant in Glendale.

Dubbed the “Blue Smoke Crew,” the event at the Phoenicia Restaurant in Glendale on Central Avenue included a raffle for ammunition, among other items, and was run by then-Sgt. Vasken Gourdikian, an organizer of the dinner to benefit the Police Athletic League.

But while police officials were investigating that claim, another complaint was filed against Gourdikian, this one alleging he tried to sell a partygoer an off-roster handgun, or a weapon that civilians are not typically allowed to possess legally.

According to a source with knowledge of the investigation, the weapon was a 1911 Colt pistol designed for military use. It is not known if anything came of either complaint, with the 47-year-old Gourdikian not only promoted to lieutenant in 2016 but also named department spokesman that year.

“All I can say legally is that two complaints did arise from the Blue Smoke event,” said Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, who did not attend the fundraiser. 

Mod: Does anyone know why exactly the City of Pasadena has not investigated Chief Sanchez?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

40 comments:

  1. Sanchez knew three years before the ATF raid on Gourdikian's home in Sierra Madre that he was selling guns because of complaints in 2014: https://www.pasadenaweekly.com/2017/06/22/police-investigated-controversial-officer-three-years-ago-gun-complaint/

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  2. Is it possible that Chief Sanchez was also in on the take? Was Gourdikian acting alone?

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    Replies
    1. Judge moves Gourdikian’s alleged gun dealing case to September as cops move forward in local probe - The trial of a former Pasadena police lieutenant accused of illegally selling more than 100 guns and lying on federal forms has been postponed for five months.

      Meanwhile, Interim Police Chief John Perez said the department’s internal affair’s investigation into former Lt. Vasken Gourdikian would continue. “We will finish the investigation,” Perez told the Pasadena Weekly. “The department’s investigation will focus largely on policy, but if criminality is uncovered it could be forwarded to prosecutors.”

      https://www.pasadenaweekly.com/2018/03/29/judge-moves-gourdikians-alleged-gun-dealing-case-to-september-as-cops-move-forward-in-local-probe/

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  3. Now that you have seen what happens behind the 'blue curtain' what are you civilians going to do about it? Does it just stop with illegal guns or weapons? I think not.

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    Replies
    1. For upper echelon officers in the PPD to be selling guns illegally is an incredible betrayal of trust.

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  4. The answer of why no one investigate Chief Sanchez is the same answer about why no one investigate APOA President Ken Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. POAs, no matter what city, run slime campaigns against those City Councilmembers who dare to call into question the criminal activity of the departments they represent. Pasadena is corruption on steroids.

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    2. The only councilmember in Pasadena with any cajones is John J. Kennedy. When he speaks out on issues like this the rest of the City Council clams up and quakes with fear.

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    3. He'd make a good replacement for Tornek.

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    4. The neighborhood barking dog would make a good replacement for Tornek.

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  5. What no license? How dare they break the rules.
    No license? Ha ha ha,give me a break, the absurdity of the left has never ceased to amaze me.

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    Replies
    1. Turning a blind eye to public employee corruption is patriotic to you? I thought you Mussolini wannabes hated public employee unions.

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    2. I think 8:07 has been spending some time at the website described below.

      New Russian Site Is Designed to Sway U.S. Voters
      https://politicalwire.com/2018/06/02/new-russian-site-is-designed-to-sway-u-s-voters/

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Licensed Mafia! It is the same in Arcadia. All support Sho Tay to suppress freedom of press and taken away public fundings.

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  8. Has City Manager Steve Mermell ever said why he thought it was a good idea for Chief Sanchez to hang up his large hat?

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    Replies
    1. Of course not. City Managers like Mermell practice Omertà.

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  9. 8:10am.you make a valid point. Unions take money from all of their members and then ILLEGAL spend large amounts of cash on politics not supported by all of their membership.
    Unions need to be stopped.

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    Replies
    1. So what is 8:07 going on about?

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    2. Synapse misfire is my guess.

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    3. I'll bet that 9:31 has no problem at all with corporations spending "large amounts of cash on politics not supported by all of their" shareholders, all to benefit the greedy largest shareholders and executives.

      Unions created the middle class. Union members do the actual work. Shrinking union membership coincides with the shrinking of the middle class in the US.

      "Unions need to be stopped." The refrain of someone who wants to abolish the 1st Amendment, wage economic war from the top against the middle class and poor, and otherwise suppress the rights of and create divisions among Americans.

      Sounds like something the PUTIN/Trump/pence team wants.

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  10. No more class action suits for you! Thanks to the Supreme Court's recent decision, change is happening with how Unions operate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The municipal employee unions own Pasadena's City Council. How else can you explain all of the corruption and debt?

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  11. Ahh, corruption and debt supported from the useful idiots that vote them into office!

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    Replies
    1. Hardly anyone in Pasadena votes. Just the machine politics minions and the flower children. Who, of course, think everything there is wonderful and get very upset if you say otherwise.

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  12. Just watch how the dutiful sheep vote for the two womanizer's running for the office of Governor in California.
    Jerry Brown is owned by the Prison Guard Union, his two minion will continue with the Bullet Train to no where and continue to raise taxes.

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    Replies
    1. Trump is running for Governor of California?

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    2. You can always leave CA. Want us to take up a collection for a one way ticket out?

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    3. For the thousands who are leaving every month, that would be a pretty good deal.

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    4. More room for those who want to stay.

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    5. Sure. Whatever you say.

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    6. Bye, bye. Enjoy living in a red "right to work for low wages in unsafe conditions" state.

      Incidentally, the bullet train is nothing more than corporate welfare. Womanizing? Aren't they actually both adulterers?

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    7. Trump and Pence. Naw. Donald, of course. But Pence? He wears rubber gloves when he touches his wife.

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    8. Dude is obsessed with the bullet train

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    9. Maybe he prefers to take the bus.

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    10. The short bus.

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  13. Can we police the police?

    http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=59899cea-c9d3-430b-bb95-bdd99ed28f84

    ReplyDelete
  14. Contract shows cops paid outside investigators $1 below amount that would have required council approval
    https://www.pasadenaweekly.com/2018/05/10/contract-shows-cops-paid-outside-investigators-1-below-amount-that-would-have-required-council-approval/

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  15. Maybe 8:10 and 9:31 can explain what unions have to do with corruption allegedly perpetrated by non-union managers.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting point. Maybe selling off register guns illegally on the Internet is a management perq. After all, it's only street cops that will get shot with them.

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