Police lieutenant charged with selling more than 100 guns on the black market

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PASADENA, Calif. — A lieutenant in the Pasadena Police Department was arrested this morning on suspicion that he illegally sold more than 100 ‘off-roster’ guns to the public.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 48-year-old Vasken Kenneth Gourdikian is accused of using his official status as a police officer to purchase firearms that aren’t generally available to the public, and then selling the restricted weapons to third parties.

Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched Gourdikian’s home in Sierra Madre in 2017, seizing about 62 firearms, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle. The indictment further charges Gourdikian with illegally possessing that unregistered weapon.

“In these days of escalating gun violence, it is important to enforce our firearms laws vigorously,” United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna said of the case. “Those who sell guns illegally need to be held accountable, especially those who abuse a position of public trust.”

If convicted of dealing firearms without a license, Gourdikian would face five years in prison. If convicted on three other related counts, his maximum sentence could stretch to 35 years.

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