Forums / Political & Legal / Bad News Gun Cache. Yikes!!!

5 years 27 weeks ago, 6:58 PM

Schuyler

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A 65-year-old Spokane man has been ordered held in custody on federal charges of illegally possessing automatic weapons and illegally storing explosives in a Bellevue commercial storage shed while agents investigate how he came to possess a huge military-grade arsenal that included grenade launchers, machine guns and plastic explosives.
Ronald Struve, heavyset and bearded, appeared in Seattle before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler on Tuesday after being extradited from Spokane, where he was arrested Jan. 7 during a raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

In four searches in Bellevue and Spokane, agents seized 37 machine guns, 12 silencers, two grenade launchers, more than 60 high-explosive grenades, several pounds of military-grade C-4 plastic explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Most of this material was stored in commercial sheds near businesses and homes, said Assistant U. S. Attorney Thomas Woods.

At a detention hearing set for Friday, Woods said he will present evidence that Struve possessed "anti-government material."
According to a complaint filed earlier this month, Struve "planned to use the items at some uncertain date in the future."
Two law-enforcement sources familiar with the case, but who spoke on condition of anonymity, used the term "Armageddon" to describe what Struve was apparently awaiting in stockpiling the weapons.
Agents have served four search warrants — three in Spokane and another in Lynnwood.

The Lynnwood shed was empty; however, agents recovered eight machine guns and additional grenade rounds in a search on a storage shed in Spokane. The search of the Bellevue storage shed did not require a warrant because agents were given permission by a man who purchased the contents at an auction. ATF Special Agent Heidi Wallace said much of the recovered ordnance was almost certainly stolen from the military because there is no other place to get it.

Woods said the investigation is continuing and that a grand-jury indictment is possible. So far, agents have questioned at least two others — including a man who rented the shed in Bellevue. No other arrests have been made.

Wallace, who was at Struve's court hearing Tuesday, said there was no evidence at this point that Struve was involved in domestic terrorism.
Struve first came to the ATF's attention in November, when the man who had purchased the shed's contents contacted the agency after he found it full of boxes of firearms, shells and other military-style hardware and wanted to know if the weapons were legal to keep. The bureau sent Wallace to the buyer's garage, where he had stacked the contents from the storage unit. What Wallace found were "many boxes, plastic bins and ammunition containers."

The first box contained what appeared to be several machine guns. Likewise, the second box contained military-type firearms. In the third box, Wallace found "two grenades and other possible explosives."
Other agents were called, and what they found was startling — and worrisome.

"In all my years, I've never seen this sort of firepower in one place," said ATF Special Agent Nick Starcevic, the Seattle office's senior operations officer. One box contained 54 M406 high-explosive grenade rounds — 40-millimeter shells that can be launched from a shoulder-fired weapon to distances of 300 yards or more, according to military specification. Its explosion creates a "kill radius" of up to 16 feet from the point of impact and injuries dozens of yards beyond that.
Agents also found several other anti-personnel grenades, including a Korean War-era "Chicom" stick grenade.

In another box, agents found six blocks of C-4 plastic explosives.
Agents counted 32 apparent machine guns, including M-14s, M-16s, and several "Sten guns," a mass-produced submachine gun known for its high rate of fire — upward of 500 rounds per minute. They also found nine silencers and the parts for several others, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition and various other military hardware.

"All of the military explosive items seized are considered contraband and cannot be possessed by anyone other than the military," Wallace wrote in a search warrant. "The majority of the items seized appeared to be stolen military explosive materials.

from Seattle Times 1/21/09

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 27 weeks ago, 9:26 PM

fordvg

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The 2nd Admendment say you can have whatever our military is using. It is legal to have. This is all legal to own in the state of Kentucky.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
5 years 27 weeks ago, 9:55 PM

hillbilly77

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Fishy circumstances

Being from Washington state me and my local gun nut buds found out about this the same day it happened. Am I the only one that thinks it is a little strange that a guy that had that much moneys worth of guns would let his storage rent get behind. To me it sounds like someone got sneaky and they used this excuse to do another unlawful ATF bust. Anyone no matter their state of mind would have kept it payed up just to keep their tools from falling into the tyrants hands.

“If ever time should come,when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of it's experienced Patriots to prevent it's ruin."Samuel Adams
5 years 26 weeks ago, 11:41 PM

ssrs10

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hillbilly

Unless of course you ran out of money to pay the rent.....

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses
5 years 27 weeks ago, 10:00 PM

fordvg

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Very true Hillbilly

Very true Hillbilly, I know if it was me I would have made sure the rent was payed.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
5 years 27 weeks ago, 3:34 PM

Schuyler

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Update to the story

A man who allegedly kept a massive arsenal of machine guns, grenades and plastic explosives in a Bellevue storage locker has been ordered detained pending his trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler determined in court this morning that 65-year-old Ronald Struve of Spokane posed a risk of flight and a danger to the community.

Prosecutors say Struve stored the 37 machine guns, two grenade launchers, 54 grenades and C-4 plastic explosives in the storage locker. They say a fire could have been disastrous.

The arsenal came to light after Struve failed to pay his storage fees. Someone else bought the contents of the locker at auction and alerted federal agents.

A defense lawyer says Struve has never been arrested before, has had the Vietnam-era weapons for decades, and didn't intend to hurt anyone. The lawyer says there's no evidence Struve is anything but a loner with some unusual anti-government political views.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 27 weeks ago, 3:36 PM

Schuyler

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and he finds the guns and calls the cops. If you had been the purchaser, would you have called the cops? Or would you have kept quiet and kept the stuff?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
5 years 27 weeks ago, 3:37 PM

Ebear

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i would

have kept it

...check... G-AZ
5 years 27 weeks ago, 3:36 PM

Ebear

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sounds

like snake to me

...check... G-AZ
5 years 26 weeks ago, 11:29 PM

wyattcl

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In the mountains, Kentucky, United States of America

only after misplacing 3/4 of the purchase.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson
5 years 26 weeks ago, 9:19 AM

FreedomMilitaria

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Lebanon, MO, United States

they dramatize everything to make a big story. the way they say, "Struve "planned to use the items at some uncertain date in the future."
and make this guy out to be some bin laden. i especially like the way they say "Struve possessed "anti-government material."
if they were to come to my house they could see all the WWII, Korea and Viet Nam era rifles and thousands of rounds of ammo, several M4's, an M16, and two suppressors. Oh! i was supposed to say "silencers" so they would sound more evil!
all of which are legally owned. does that mean that i plan to overthrow the government? hardly...
this is why so many people are mistaken about firearms. the media has already hung this guy and we don't know the whole story, just the propaganda
that the media spreads.

If you do not stand behind our troops...please stand in front of them....

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