Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Denver Field Division
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
April 21, 2010
Contact: Craig W. Roegner
Special Agent/Public Information Officer
Cell: (303) 746-2506
Office: (303) 844-7399
Joint Investigation Results in Littleton Man’s Federal Arrest for Possession of Stolen Machine Guns and for Possession of Explosives, Destructive Devices
DENVER, Colo. — U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado David Gaouette, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Marvin G. Richardson, and Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman announced the indictment of Andrew Thomas Gunzner, age 21, of Littleton, Colo., for possession of stolen machine guns and destructive devices. Gunzner, who is in state custody, will be transferred to federal custody on a future date.
According to the indictment, on or before March 17, 2010, Gunzner did knowingly and unlawfully possess a Heckler & Koch, model MP-5, 9 mm machine gun. On March 16, 2010, Gunzner allegedly possessed an Olympic Arms .223 caliber rifle that contained a machine gun auto sear. Also on or about March 16, 2010, Gunzner stole firearms from the inventory of Prairie Arms Manufacturing, a federal firearms licensee, located in Littleton. Lastly, Gunzner did knowingly and unlawfully possess destructive devices.
Gunzner faces two counts of possession of a machine gun, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. He also faces one count of theft from a federal firearms licensee, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. Lastly, he faces one count of possession of a destructive device, which also carries a penalty of not more than 10 years incarceration, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
According to state records, on March 17, 2010, at approximately 2:35 a.m., Gunzner was observed driving a silver Jeep Cherokee with red overhead emergency lights and siren activated. During the vehicle stop Denver Police officers found firearms, including a machine gun. During the investigation it was discovered that some of the firearms were stolen from Prairie Arms Manufacturing in Littleton, where Gunzner was employed. On April 7, 2010, ATF agents and Task Force Officers executed a state search warrant, recovering another machine gun and unregistered destructive devices. An ATF explosives enforcement officer responded to the scene and recovered all the explosive materials and rendered them safe.
This joint investigation illustrates how quick thinking, good police work, and strong law enforcement partnerships can bring potentially dangerous individuals to justice said Richardson praising the strong partnership between ATF and the Denver Police Department.
Our officers acted courageously and then astutely observed that this was not just a routine traffic stop. Working with our ATF task force partners critical leads were developed in which led to the recovery and removal of dangerous weapons from our community, Whitman said.
This case was investigated by the Denver Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Denver Police Department.
Gun and explosive cases are investigated and prosecuted as a part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. This coordinated initiative targets gun and gang violence in Colorado communities. The PSN Task Force in Denver includes members from the Aurora, Denver, and Lakewood Police Departments, as well as Jefferson County deputies, and ATF Special Agents who work in partnership with U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gunzner is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan T. Bergsieker. Any identified individuals that have been arrested and/or charged with a criminal violation, and the circumstances surrounding their arrests are allegations and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.