Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Huge arsenal seized from high-ranking Pasadena police officer's home, new records show"

Mod: So we were pretty much the lead news site on the Vasken Gourdikian matter. The Tattler was there when most other newsies were worried about the possible consequences of even mentioning this guy's name. And, with the exception of the Pasadena Weekly, that was everyone. However, all of that has now changed. Today everyone is talking about this scandal, including the Los Angeles Times. Here is how they too finally got on board.

Huge arsenal seized from high-ranking Pasadena police officer's home, new records show (Los Angeles Times link): Federal agents seized about five dozen firearms worth tens of thousands of dollars from a high-ranking Pasadena police officer during a raid this year, according to newly released government records.

The Feb. 16 search of the officer’s Sierra Madre home by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was widely publicized, but authorities did not identify the officer or detail what was recovered.

The cache of weapons was an enormous haul that took two trucks to cart away.

On Sunday, a federal registry of potential forfeited assets listed 57 firearms that were seized from the home of Lt. Vasken Gourdikian, who most recently served as the Pasadena Police Department’s spokesman and an adjutant to Chief Phillip L. Sanchez.

After the ATF raid, Gourdikian was placed on paid administrative leave, the Police Department launched an internal investigation and his biography was removed from the city’s website.

At Gourdikian’s four-bedroom home in the San Gabriel Valley, agents reported hauling off more than 30 pistols, three shotguns and 20 rifles, among other weapons. The arsenal included small handguns as well as such tactical weapons as a $1,700 Bushmaster combat rifle, the records show. The estimated value of each seized gun ranged from $100 to $3,800.

Gourdikian, who has worked for the Pasadena Police Department since 1994, has not been charged with a crime, and city officials said the ATF search was unrelated to his work with the department. He remains on leave, city spokesman William Boyer said this week.

Ginger Colbrun, an ATF spokeswoman, said there was an ongoing federal investigation into the officer, but she declined to comment on it. She also did not identify the officer.

The federal search warrant for Gourdikian’s home remains under seal.

Mod: So what is the case against Gourdikian all about? Here is how the Los Angeles Times explains what they think might be coming down.

About six weeks after the search, the top ATF agent in Los Angeles, Eric Harden, sent a letter to area police chiefs and sheriffs, notifying them that investigators had found more than 100 “off-roster” guns purchased by police.

Such guns are not on a California list of approved handguns for purchase by the public, but the law gives a special exception for police officers to buy these weapons.

Colbrun said the agency found law enforcement officers who were acting as firearms dealers and that the officers appeared to be buying and reselling weapons without a federal firearms license, a violation of federal law.

The investigation into off-roster firearms began with reports on firearms sales and weapons found at crime scenes.

Firearms generally average about 10 years between the time of purchase and when they show up at a crime scene. If the window is shorter — for instance, three years — it triggers a red flag, Colbrun said.

Further digging revealed some law enforcement officers who made “significant purchases and resales of firearms,” Colbrun said.

ATF officials generally aim to educate law enforcement about off-roster guns so they are aware of the restrictions, Colbrun said.

Prosecutions of sworn law enforcement officers are rare.

A former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, Ryan McGowan, was sentenced last year to 18 months in federal prison after a jury convicted him of dealing firearms without a license and falsifying records.

McGowan used his role as a deputy to buy off-roster guns, then resold them at a higher price on the private market. He also worked with a licensed gun dealer to evade federal law, prosecutors said.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

43 comments:

  1. The government has "lists" of what/who is considered legal. Can't put/point my finger on "it", but somehow this reminds me of another time/place in history.

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  2. Yeah, 4:45, if Congress hadn't been bought by the NRA, we might have sensible gun laws so that some guy can't fly to Florida with a gun and start shooting random people in the airport, or you could safely attend class at Virginia Tech, or not have to worry about your six year old getting killed by a nutcase. Sure, let's give everyone free rein to buy as many weapons as they want. Now the NRA is trying to pass a law to make silencers legal. Call you Congressperson if you find this as alarming as I do.

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  3. KPCC is now reporting this story.

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  4. For a completely different perspective, go here:
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=1330417

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  5. Two things that I noticed whilst reading the list - several (as in most) of the handguns are available for purchase by the public, and the value reported for the guns tends to be lower than market value.

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    1. There are people who can not buy guns from licensed dealers. They have a criminal past, are insane, or have other problems that makes purchase through legal means a problem.

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    2. If someone can legally own a firearm, why should the government be able to tell them how many. I agree that there need to be sensible firearm laws. Most California firearm laws related to restricted guns are solely based on the weapons appearance. If criminals caught with firearms were truly held to answer we would see "gun violence" reduced.

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    3. Not the point, Suits. You got ADD or something?

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    4. Which part is not the point? Did you read 6:16's post?

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    5. I believe every American Citizen EXCEPT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES should be able to own any kind and as many firearms as they want. The Citizens are the master, public servants are just that- servants. They need to be curtailed to only owning a department provided firearm period.

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    6. That would sure cut into the gun running business some cops are in on.

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    7. You have it reversed 11:49. You serve the retirement needs of public employees. You are the servant. Pay up!

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    8. By Guys's logic, if I can legally store a 5 gallon can of gas in my garage I should be able to store as many gas cans as I want.

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    9. Gas cans don't kill people, people kill people.

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    10. 11:49, Master? Servants? Sounds like you are living in the wrong century "massa."

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    11. How many cars should the government allow you to own? How many kitchen knives? How many yard tools like axes, shovles, rakes? How many screw drivers? How many hammers or other tools?

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    12. How many meaningless comments should the government allow you to post?

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    13. As many as it takes! I'm on a mission to help bring clarity to the misinformed!

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    14. That would be like Helen Keller teaching photography.

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    15. I don't see it that way.

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    16. Neither did she

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  6. I believe the hidden agenda is, what ifgordiken did not buy the guns from PPD, then where did they come from...

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  7. The article states that law enforcement people are allowed to buy "off roster" guns. My point being that many of the guns listed are not "off roster". Which would support the notion that the guns would go to "non qualifying" buyers.

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    1. If Congress would investigate why a gun can get through the costly TSA government employees, if only Virginia Tech Art classes would outlaw all box cutters, if only government invested money in the mental health field instead of ignoring a growing health issue, if only.
      People kill people.

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    2. People kill people with the guns they get legally or illegally. 8:59 - how do you defend Congress overturning the previous law that wouldn't allow mentally ill people to get guns??? Three year olds kill their siblings with guns they "find." Why? Because of the easy access and the proliferation. The guy got the gun through TSA because IT WAS LEGAL...yes, I'm shouting!

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  8. Must be nice traveling through this life thinking unicorns s#*t rainbows!

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    1. ... or cops don't sell guns to people who cannot get them legally.

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  9. It was verified by PPD, PPD stated they do not sell firearms! I think the Sierra Madre Tattler should give the PPD chief a call and ask if PPD sells firearms to PPD officers? Then the question remains, where did they come from and are they stolen?

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  10. Reading the cal guns forum, it is obvious that the officer was selling many off roster handguns there.

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    1. The people on that site are not happy with the law, but seem willing to concede Gourdikian might have broken it.

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  11. 9am. Check your medz.
    If you want a gun, you can buy one, legally or illegally; doesn't really matter.
    Expensive "off rosters" are not stolen, only Saturday Night Specials that are cheaper are sold from car trunks.

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    1. How do you know these guns are not stolen? Did your dog tell you this?

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    2. How do you know they were stolen, your cat tell you?

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    3. Just speculation. Since the govt has a complete embargo on this one, imaginations run wild.

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  12. My dog has a great deal more of common sense then a few bloggers on this site.

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    1. So I guess we should assume the answer is yes.

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    2. "Don't shoot me!"

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    3. It's a ruff world out there.

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    4. I think we need to paws on this topic for a minute.

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    5. Don't go barking at me, mister!

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  13. How do you know these guns are stolen?

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    1. Just speculation. Since the gummint has a total blackout on this story people have to rely on guess work.

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  14. Legal to own assault rifles in California? Illegal to sell raw almonds in California.

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