Straw purchaser arrested in connection to DC snipers...


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Bobarino
March 17, 2005, 06:55 PM
http://www.komotv.com/stories/35776.htm

Man Accused Of Helping Snipers Get A Gun

March 17, 2005

By KOMO Staff & News Services


SEATTLE - A 36-year-old Tacoma man has been indicted on a charge that he bought a rifle for the Washington, D.C.-area snipers - though not the weapon used in those shootings.

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Earl L. Dancy Jr. on one count of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in Tacoma later this month.

On a federal form when he bought a .308-caliber Remington rifle from Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Dancy claimed he intended to use the weapon himself, the U.S. attorney's office said. But during the November 2003 trial of John Allen Muhammad, he admitted under oath he bought it for Muhammad.

Muhammad, 44, and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, lived in the Tacoma area before heading east and beginning a terrifying string of random sniper shootings that left 10 dead in October 2002. Muhammad is on Virginia's death row after being convicted of the Oct. 9, 2002, murder of Dean Harold Meyers.

Malvo, 19, admitted being the trigger man and has been sentenced to life in prison for two of the killings. He cannot face the death penalty because the Supreme Court recently barred the death penalty for juveniles; Malvo was 17 at the time of the slayings.

The Remington .308, model 700, is not believed to have been used in any Washington, D.C. area shootings. However, in 2002, two men who were driving through a field in Tacoma found it sitting - loaded - on a bipod, pointed toward a nearby apartment building. The witnesses heard someone running through the bushes and called police, who took possession of the rifle.

Dancy admitted in his testimony that he reported the rifle stolen, at Muhammad's request, after it was found.

Dancy was a friend of the pair when they lived in Washington state. He owned the .45-caliber handgun used to shoot 21-year-old Keenya Cook in February 2002 in Tacoma. Malvo told psychiatrists that he killed the young woman, according to court documents. It was Muhammad's way of testing him, he said.

Making a false statement in connection with buying a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, where Dancy bought the Remington, is the same store where authorities believe Muhammad and Malvo stole the Bushmaster rifle they used in the shooting spree. A federal investigation determined the Bushmaster was one of 200 or more guns missing from Bull's Eye that the owner at the time, Brian Borgelt, could not account for.

Bull's Eye agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by victims and victims' families in the sniper shootings.

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sounds like a PSS maybe? i can't believe they just left it in the field and took off. i hate to admit it but i just might have kept it if i found it. maybe.

Bobby

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nico
March 17, 2005, 07:10 PM
Would it make me a bad person if I said it might have been better for gun owners if they used the 700? Maybe it would have shown more hunters that the gun grabbers ARE after their deer rifles

Harry Tuttle
March 17, 2005, 08:14 PM
earlier report from a year ago:

D.C.-area snipers may have planned attacks near Tacoma

By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter

Virginia prosecutors have concluded that D.C.-area snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo had set up a snipers' nest in a Tacoma-area field and were "preparing or training" to kill randomly with a rifle more than a month before the Beltway shootings began.

The pair were interrupted and forced to abandon the rifle, police and prosecutors said, when a truck cut through the field where they were set up behind an apartment complex early on the morning of Aug. 17, 2002.

"I think it's fair to say that we believe they were set up to shoot someone. We can't say who or why," said Deputy Prince William County Prosecutor Attorney James Willett. "Based on their subsequent actions — the random shootings of 10 people (in the D.C. area) — it is a reasonable assumption that they were preparing and training there (in Tacoma) for what eventually happened here."

Investigators have traced the rifle in the field to a Tacoma man, Earl Lee Dancy Jr., who has admitted he illegally purchased it for Muhammad and then reported it stolen at Muhammad's request after it was found.

Dancy is under investigation by federal agents for making that illegal "straw purchase" for Muhammad, who could not legally possess a gun because he was the subject of a domestic-violence protective order. Dancy and Muhammad were friends and Muhammad and Malvo had stayed with him off and on.

A federal law-enforcement source has confirmed that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle is contemplating charging Dancy with making false statements on a federal firearms form. The crime is a felony that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Dancy, contacted yesterday at his home in Tacoma, said he was under a "gag order" and could not talk about the case.

In his testimony during Muhammad's trial in Virginia last November, Dancy said Muhammad came to him in November 2001, said he needed a rifle, and gave him $800 in cash. Dancy bought the gun at Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma. Over the next several months, Dancy testified, he, Muhammad and Malvo went several times to an outdoor Tacoma shooting range to fire it.

"Did the defendant ever make any remarks to you about Mr. Malvo at the shooting range?" Prosecutor Paul Ebert asked.

"Yeah. He showed me a target and we looked at the grouping and he said, 'That's a sniper,' " obviously impressed with Malvo's skill.

The rifle was a Remington Model 700, a model commonly used by police sharpshooters and similar to the weapon used by U.S. Marine Corps snipers. When found in the Tacoma field, the gun was loaded with a bullet in the chamber and equipped with a telescopic sight and bipod, used to steady the weapon for more accurate shooting.

Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Ed Troyer said there was an apartment building nearby, and the field commanded a view of Highway 512 southeast of Tacoma.

Troyer has gone back through police reports and found no incidents of illegal shooting or shots being fired in that area.

According to a sheriff's report made by the two Pierce County men who found the gun, they were leaving the apartment building, took a shortcut in their truck through a field next door, "and noticed something sticking out of a green duffle bag."

"When they stopped and looked closer they saw that it was a rifle with a scope and a tripod on it," the deputy wrote, misidentifying the bipod attached to the gun's stock.

"When they (got) out of the truck, they could hear someone running through the bushes, but couldn't see them," the report said. "They said the rifle was loaded with one .308 round and was up on its tripod pointed at the apartment building that they just came from."

The discovery of the rifle may partially answer one question for investigators, according to the Virginia prosecutors: why Malvo shoplifted a Bushmaster assault rifle — the weapon used in the Beltway shootings — from Bull's Eye. According to statements from Bull's Eye employees, the Bushmaster was first noticed missing sometime in August or September 2002 probably after the Remington was abandoned in the field.

The two guns are significantly different from each other.

The Remington, the weapon found in the field, is a 44-inch-long rifle that can be fired only after the shooter manually operates its bolt action, which ejects a spent casing and reloads the next round for firing. Its magazine carries five bullets. The rifle fires powerful .308-caliber bullets and can shoot accurately at distances of 500 yards or more.

The Bushmaster is roughly 35 inches in length and fires a .223-caliber bullet. It is an assault-style weapon that can fire as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger and can be fed with a 30-round magazine. While accurate at up to 250 yards or so, it is not commonly considered a sniper rifle.

The Bushmaster that Muhammad and Malvo used was equipped with both telescopic and laser sights.

The first of the shootings tied to the Bushmaster occurred Oct. 2, when a round was fired through the window of a Michael's craft store in Aspen Hill, Md. That same day, James Martin, 55, was shot dead outside a supermarket in Wheaton, Md.

Muhammad was convicted and sentenced late last year to die for the death of Dean Meyers, who was shot down while filling his car at a gas station near Manassas, Va. Malvo was convicted and given a life sentence in Virginia for the Oct. 14, 2002, slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin.

Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said he is preparing a Virginia homicide case against Malvo.

Besides the two convictions, Muhammad and Malvo are suspects in 12 other slayings in Washington, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama. The first killing for which they are suspects is the Feb. 16, 2002, slaying of Keenya Cook in Tacoma.

Cook was killed with a .45-caliber handgun owned by Dancy, who has testified that Muhammad and Malvo routinely borrowed and fired several weapons belonging to him.

Malvo, 18, has told police and psychiatrists that the 43-year-old Muhammad had sent him to commit that shooting as a test. Cook was the niece of Isa Nichols who police and prosecutors say was a target of Muhammad's rage because she had sided with his ex-wife, Mildred, in their divorce.

While it has been speculated that Nichols was the intended target of that shooting, Deputy Prince William County Prosecutor Rick Conway, also on the team that convicted Muhammad, says that's not clear. "I believe statements have been made by Malvo to the effect that Muhammad wanted to kill one member of the Nichols family every year so Isa Nichols would suffer," Conway said.

ZeroX
March 17, 2005, 08:16 PM
I also probably would have just kept it. :uhoh:

Bobarino
March 17, 2005, 08:36 PM
i drive hwy 512 twice a day. i have a good idea what field they are talking about. scary to think i may have been in someone's crosshairs at one time or another. lotta good my carry piece would have done me then.

Bobby

Lennyjoe
March 17, 2005, 08:59 PM
I thought the ATF said the gun was stolen from the gunshop :confused:

Bobarino
March 17, 2005, 09:41 PM
Lenny,

the Bushmaster AR clone that was used in the DC sniper shootings was stolen from the Bull's Eye. this is a completely different rifle that was abandoned in a field. details are in the articles above.

Bobby

Standing Wolf
March 17, 2005, 10:23 PM
Making a false statement in connection with buying a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Works for me. Too bad this law is virtually never enforced.

Jim K
March 17, 2005, 10:58 PM
I wonder what else will turn up. I still don't believe it was coincidence that the Beltway snipers came, or were brought, to Maryland to kill people just when a gun control advocate was running for Governor.

Jim

Wildalaska
March 18, 2005, 12:20 AM
I still don't believe it was coincidence that the Beltway snipers came, or were brought, to Maryland to kill people just when a gun control advocate was running for Governor.

Honey? Sweetie? Could ya bring me the reynolds wrap for a little while...

Thank you darlin...smooch

WildanditaintspiffinthatapronAlaska

mongo
March 18, 2005, 12:38 AM
Why did Bulls-Eye Shooter Supply pay out $2 million to settle a lawsuit when this gun was STOLEN from them? That does not make one bit of sense to me. GD Laywers :cuss:

carebear
March 18, 2005, 12:47 AM
They apparently also had some other security and paperwork problems. And settling can be cheaper than going to court.

Just encourages the jackals of course. But then, it isn't MY livelihood at stake when I say that.

Hkmp5sd
March 18, 2005, 02:10 AM
Do you mean Muhammad didn't just use the "gun show loophole"? :rolleyes:

So the Remington 700 is now a police and military "sniper rifle" and not a very common hunting rifle.

medmo
March 18, 2005, 02:48 AM
"They" didn't settle. A lawyer who represented the insurance company that owned the policy on the shop settled because he thought it would over all cost less money than to fight it all the way down the line. It's exactly how this stuff works.... Wildalaska, could you kinda explain further the reynolds wrap thing? I'm kinda slow I guess.....

Chawbaccer
March 18, 2005, 07:15 AM
A federal investigation determined the Bushmaster was one of 200 or more guns missing from Bull's Eye that the owner at the time, Brian Borgelt, could not account for.

Great inventory control. Is Bulls Eye still in business?

Henry Bowman
March 18, 2005, 10:02 AM
Brian Borgelt sold the gun shop part of Bull's Eye to friend of his, but still owns the indoor shooting range upstairs.

sturmruger
March 18, 2005, 02:40 PM
This guy should have pled the 5th. It takes a special kind of stupid to incriminate your self on the witness stand.

Hkmp5sd
March 18, 2005, 04:22 PM
ATF decided they could not charge Brian Borgelt with anything, so they revoked his gun license and let him transfer it to a buddy. Not only is this guy a lousy businessman, the IRS indicted him on 5 counts of failure to file income tax returns. Seems he skipped doing his income taxes for 5 straight years.

Randy in Arizona
March 18, 2005, 10:07 PM
Wildalaska, could you kinda explain further the reynolds wrap thing? I'm kinda slow I guess.....

I'm not Wild Alaska, but I think what was meant was that the quote about the Maryland Election called for a tinfoil hat such as those worn by people avoiding Alien Mind Control Rays or CIA Mind Control Rays etc.

I wonder what else will turn up. I still don't believe it was coincidence that the Beltway snipers came, or were brought, to Maryland to kill people just when a gun control advocate was running for Governor.


RandynotwildalaskaatallinArizona :)

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