US police officer indicted of illegally selling firearms

Washington, March 3 : A California state police officer was indicted on federal charges related to the illegal sale of more than 100 firearms.

According to a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Pasadena police officer Vasken Kenneth Gourdikian, a 48-year-old lieutenant on administrative leave, turned himself in to federal authorities on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

On Thursday, he was named by a federal grand jury in a four-count indictment that accuses him of dealing in firearms without a license, making false statements on forms from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as well as possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

The federal indictment charged that Gourdikian sold over 100 firearms without a license from March 2014 through February 2017.

He allegedly used his official status as a police officer to purchase firearms that were not available to the general public, and then sold the “off-roster” firearms through third-party transfers to the public.

His status as an officer let him purchase more than one handgun in a 30-day period, according to the indictment. He also allegedly obtained authorization from his employer to acquire a firearm before the 10-day waiting period was over, the indictment said.

Gourdikian appeared in the US District Court in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty in court, then was released on a $100,000 bond.

If convicted on all four charges, he could face up to 35 years in federal prison.

/IANS

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