For Immediate Release
Burrillville Man Admits to Illegally Possessing More Than 200 Firearms, Making False Statements on ATF Firearm Purchase Forms
PROVIDENCE – A Burrillville man admitted today to a federal judge that he was an unlawful user of controlled substances, including cocaine, when he purchased and possessed more than 200 firearms, and that he made false statements when purchasing the firearms, claiming on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) forms that he was not an unlawful drug user, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
During a routine review of multiple sales reports of firearms in the fall of 2018, ATF learned that Ronald Andruchuk, 38, purchased 169 firearms between July 2021 and November 2021. Agents began to investigate further to ensure that the purchaser was not involved in illegal firearms-trafficking activities. During that review, agents learned that Andruchuk had previous contact with Cranston Police Department, during which he admitted being a medical marijuana user; during later contact with the Cranston Police when he was arrested on controlled substance offenses, Andruchuk admitted to having a substance abuse problem.
Further investigation determined that in December 2021 two firearms, as well as drugs, and other items were located in the drop ceiling of a bathroom inside a Millbury, MA, retail store shortly after Andruchuk vacated the restroom. Both firearms were traced to Andruchuk as the purchaser, who did not have a license to carry a firearm in Massachusetts.
ATF also reviewed ATF Firearm Transaction Records that Andruchuk filled out on November 17, 2021 and December 11, 2021 when attempting to purchase firearms at two different gun stores in Rhode Island and discovered that he had falsely claimed that he was not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance."
On February 24, 2022, Burrillville Police were called to Andruchuk’s home to investigate reports of shots fired; this was the ninth such complaint the Department had received. As police arrived, numerous gunshots could be heard – with some passing overhead of responding officers. Andruchuk was found to be wearing a bulletproof vest and was carrying four firearms and methamphetamine. Burrillville Police arrested him on a state arrest warrant for Firing in a Compact area at that time. At the same time, ATF agents executed a federal search warrant at Andruchuk’s home and seized more than 200 unsecured firearms from the residence, in addition to various controlled substances.
Andruchuk today pleaded guilty to two charges of making a false statement of material fact during a firearm purchase and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17, 2023. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
According to a plea agreement filed with the court, Andruchuk will forfeit all of the 219 firearms seized by ATF and Burrillville Police which included an AR-style privately-made firearm and a drilled lower receiver with functioning trigger assembly, in addition to assorted firearm magazines and accessories and approximately 25,390 (1,555.8lbs) rounds of assorted boxed and loose ammunition of various calibers. The forfeited firearms and ammunition will be destroyed.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United Sates Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.
The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Burrillville Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.