News and Press Releases

Kept Grenades, Machine Guns, Explosives and Grenade Launchers in Bellevue Storage Locker

March 12, 2009

RONALD L. STRUVE, 65, of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five felony counts related to illegal weapons possession. STRUVE faces up to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced for possession of plastic explosives that did not contain a detection agent, and four counts of possession of an unregistered firearm. Sentencing is scheduled in front of U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman on June 5, 2009.

According to the plea agreement and records filed in the case, STRUVE had rented a unit in a Bellevue storage facility under a false name. In November of 2008, the contents of the unit were sold at auction because the rent had not been paid. After the buyers picked up the boxes from the storage unit and carted them home, they discovered weapons in one box and called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) to review the materials. In the cache of weapons ATF found thirty-seven machine guns, at least eight silencers, and fifty-seven destructive devices, including two grenade launchers and fifty-four high explosive grenades. One of the grenades had previously been “dud fired,” which made it extremely dangerous to transport and handle. ATF agents also found plastic explosives. Many of the weapons had been stolen from the military. After STRUVE was tracked to Spokane and arrested, agents located another storage locker in Spokane which contained eight more machine guns and another unregistered firearm.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, STRUVE’s guideline range will be increased because of the large number of illegal weapons he possessed, and because some of the weapons were stolen. The weapons will be forfeited to the government.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tom Woods and Michael Dion.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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