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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Elma man pleads guilty to gun charges

       BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Bernard T. Grucza, 38, of Elma, N.Y., pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a person subject to as domestic violence order of protection before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, the defendant made false written statements to Big Daddy Guns in order to obtain a Ruger .380 caliber pistol. Between July 13, 2013 and October 16, 2013, the defendant possessed the  pistol despite being the subject of a restraining order issued by Elma Town Court. In addition, Grucza made false statements to Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had destroyed the pistol and thrown out the parts when in fact he had not.       

As part of his plea, the defendant admitted to stealing over $200,000 worth of merchandise and cash from his employer, Toys R Us. Grucza then sold the merchandise on eBay. The plea agreement require the defendant to pay restitution to Toys R Us in the amount of $223,000.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Cannon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard, and the Hamburg Police Department, under the direction of Michael Williams. 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.