Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two more guns in Arizona

The Phoenix Police Department has recovered two more guns stolen in the 2007 burglary of Scheel’s All Sports in Lincoln. A Springfield Armory .45 caliber pistol and a Glock 10mm pistol were seized during the service of a search warrant for drugs in Glendale. This brings the total number of guns recovered to 46, while the number still out there moves to 33.


Steve said...

That's good news. The chances of any of those stolen guns being used for any legal purpose are slim at best. However, the post brings something to mind I've been thinking about for some time. How much do you, as the Chief of Police, have to say about what charges get filed against people found with stolen, or illegally possessed guns? For that matter, what about any other criminal charges?

It seems to me that the laws we have, particularly regarding the illegal use or possession of guns, don't do much good if we routinely drop the charges or allow plea bargains to lesser offenses. I wonder how much input, if any, you have on the process. As much as you seem to be concerned about guns in the wrong hands, I would think that you would vigorously urge prosecution to the fullest extent possible in these kinds of cases. Are you even allowed to do that in your official capacity?

Taylor said...

Didn't the Lincoln SWAT team recover some of those weapons during a search warrant?

Tom Casady said...


We arrest, generally for the most serious crime (and the most of them) we can think of that meets the facts. The County Attorney decides what charges (if any) to file, and whether to offer any plea agreement. The court determines sentences. If the police arrested, charged, and sentenced, we would be a tyranny instead of a democratic republic.


Yes, the guns that were recovered on K Street on the day following the burglary were located after the SWAT Team made a (shall we say)unannounced vist.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Good thing they didn't steal any of these.

Steve said...

Hmmm. An unannounced SWAT team visit. That sounds more like tyranny than the police force making recommendations as to what charges should be prosecuted in a given case.

I agree, there should be separation of powers in the judicial process. I just wondered what, if any, role you had to play once the arrest is made. I would think that for a system to work well, prosecutors would appreciate the input from police who likely know more about the crime and the perpetrator. (Judges appear to have their own agenda regardless of the circumstances.)

In case I failed to convey the proper tone, there was no criticism intended of you or the police department in either of my comments to this post.

Anonymous said...

I think you made the right call on that raid, having to balance out the main objective of securing the stolen firearms, and making sure every t was crossed and every i dotted. Sometimes there isn't a perfect option, and you take the least imperfect one available. I just wish I could have seen the suspects' faces when you showed up!

By the way, does the County Attorney make the decision on whether or not a federally-chargeable offense (felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a defaced firearm, possession of a short shotgun, etc) is kicked over to the Feds or not?

Taylor said...

I think the SWAT team does a pretty good job on those unannounced visits

Tom Casady said...


We meet monthly with the County Attorney's Office and United States Attorney's Office to discuss firearms offenses, and which of those can/should be presented to the Federal grand jury.


On major crimes, we are normally in the loop. It's not a vote, but we are usually involved in the discussion. Tons of lower-level felonies and misdemeanors are plea bargained without any input from the arresting officer or police department. This isn't a rant, just a reality: when you've got a dozen cases scheduled for trial at 10:30 AM in County Court 22, there's no way you can avoid plea agreements. If you are the court, you've got an hour and a half to dispose of them all.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it looks like this trash decided to pop up again, down in RD 177 I think. I'll never understand a property crime that has no intrinsic gain possible for the criminal.

Anonymous said...

Was the stolen (and illegally possessed - by a felon) gun recovered in A9-060141 one of this lot?

Tom Casady said...

10:41 -

It was stolen, but in another burglary in January of this year--not in Scheel's from October 1, 2007.