St. Paul Man Sentenced to 14.5 Years in Prison for Multiple Armed Robberies of University Avenue Grocery Stores
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Pequot Lakes felon has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms, ammunition, and over 400 grams of methamphetamine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.
According to court documents, in the spring of 2019, the FBI learned that Nicholas Ronald Wynn, 35, was purchasing large quantities of firearms parts and accessories, body armor and other tactical gear, and chemicals and lab equipment used to manufacture narcotics, explosives, and firearms. On May 9, 2019, a team of law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Wynn’s residence and discovered numerous parts and tools designed for building semiautomatic rifles and handguns; firearms accessories, multiple high-capacity magazines; several boxes of ammunition; and tactical gear, including a bullet-proof vest, ballistic plates, a bullet-proof helmet, and a bullet-proof facemask. The agents also located large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine, packaging materials for selling drugs, recipes and chemicals for manufacturing methamphetamine, and more than 400 grams of methamphetamine. Wynn admitted at the sentencing hearing that he possessed the methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it.
According to court documents, after agents took Wynn into custody, he admitted that he had multiple firearms and ammunition stored in an off-site storage unit in Brainerd. Agents obtained a warrant for the storage facility and recovered five firearms, including semiautomatic handguns and an assault rifle, and multiple boxes and magazines of ammunition. Agents also searched Wynn’s rental property in Brainerd, which was occupied by renters. The renters advised the agents that they had been renting the house for approximately 10 months but did not have access to the garage. The renters indicated that Wynn accessed the garage multiple times a week, typically in the middle of the night, and had observed Wynn loading and unloading boxes to and from his truck into the garage. Agents executed a search warrant on the garage and recovered two segments of PVC pipe, capped on both ends in the manner used to make pipe bombs.
Because Wynn has multiple prior felony convictions in Crow Wing County, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
Wynn, who was scheduled to go to trial on December 1, 2021, pleaded guilty earlier today before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright to one count of possessing a firearm as a felon, one count of possessing ammunition as a felon, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled for a later date.
This case is the result of investigations conducted by the FBI and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy C. Rank and Emily A. Polachek are prosecuting the case.