Littleton prole lifts arsenal of weapons from workplace

22 Apr

A 21-year-old gun store employee has been indicted by the federal grand jury in Denver for stealing guns from his employer and possessing machine guns and “destructive devices”.

Officials searched the Littleton home where he lived with his mother and sister and found a green hand grenade, three “destructive devices”, 10 rifles, four pistols, approximately 30 boxes or cans of ammunition which included .50-caliber shells.

Agents also recovered a bullet-proof vest, and more than half a dozen samples of an “unknown powder.”

The man, Andrew Thomas Gunzner, was stopped by Denver police on March 17, after they saw him driving a silver Jeep Cherokee with red overhead emergency lights and siren activated, according to a search warrant filed in Denver District Court.

During a search of the Jeep, Denver officers found various guns, including a Heckler and Koch 9mm machine gun, a Taurus .4-5/410 revolver, a Norinco AK-47 and an FHN 5.7×28 semiautomatic pistol.

They also found numerous pistol magazines, ammunition, handcuffs, an expandable baton, knives, holsters, a flashlight, and flash suppressor and a scope/sight.

During the subsequent investigation, officers discovered that some of the firearms were allegedly stolen by Gunzner from his employer, Littleton-based Prairie Arms Manufacturing.

On April 7, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) along with a task force of officers from several jurisdictions executed a search warrant on Gunzner’s home where they recovered a second machine gun and various “destructive devices,” which were deactivated.

When initially stopped at 2:35 a.m. on March 17, Gunzner told Denver police that he was a volunteer firefighter for the Foothills Fire Department and he must have activated the emergency lights and siren by accident.

After he was arrested for possessing an illegal firearm, Gunzner waived his Miranda rights and told Denver officers he worked as a sales agent and apprentice gunsmith at Prairie Arms Manufacturing.

He said he had gone to Shotgun Willies Show Club for evening dinner, and left there about 2 a.m.

He said he activated the red light and siren on his Jeep “for fun” as he drove south on Colorado Boulevard after leaving the club.

He said his employer had not given him permission to take the machine gun from the store. He said he had taken the gun with him on his jaunt to Shotgun Willies so he could “play” with it, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Denver police who interviewed Gunzner said they detected a “slight” odor of alcohol on Gunzner’s breath but did not think he was intoxicated.

Officials at the Foothills Fire Department told Denver police they had never had a volunteer firefighter there by the name of Andrew Gunzner and no one by that name was currently in the fire academy.

Gunzner faces two counts of possession of a machine gun, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

He also faces one count of theft from a federal firearms licensee, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. He also faces one count of possession of a destructive device, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and a $10,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the ATF office in Denver and the Denver Police Department.

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