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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

Friday, November 15, 2013

Goldfield, Nev. Man Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Unlawful Possession And Attempted Purchase Of Firearms

       LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A long-time resident of Goldfield, Nev. was sentenced today to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for improperly possessing and attempting to purchase firearms, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

            Michael Rippie, ­­­­­67, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro.  Rippie was convicted by a jury on Aug. 9, 2013, of possession of a firearm by a person previously found to be a mental defective and committed to a mental institution and making false statements to acquire firearms.  Rippie, who was arrested and charged in April 2013, had been released pending trial with special conditions and was residing in Pahrump with his former wife.  Rippie was placed in federal custody immediately following sentencing.

            “Federal laws prohibit certain individuals from prohibiting firearms, including felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens, persons convicted of domestic violence offenses or subject to restraining orders, and persons who have been previously adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to mental institution,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden.  “Too many recent shooting incidents have demonstrated how dangerous firearms can be when they are in the hands of someone with a mental disorder.  We will work with our local and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that persons who unlawfully possess firearms in violation of these laws are prosecuted federally.”  

According to the court records, in 1971, Rippie was adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity for a 1970 armed robbery in Colorado and was committed to a mental institution.  On about Sept. 10, 2010, Rippie knowingly made a false written statement to a firearms dealer in Tonopah, Nev., in an attempt to purchase a long gun, stating that he had not been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to a mental institution. On April 10, 2013, Rippie was arrested at his home in Goldfield with 15 firearms, including two loaded semi-automatic assault-type rifles with extended 30-round clips and a loaded semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol.  Rippie also possessed over 22,000 rounds of ammunition at his residence.  Rippie was well-known to law enforcement and others in the Goldfield and Tonopah areas and had one conviction and 13 arrests over the last 48 years, including six involving firearms.

            The case was investigated by ATF and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Johnson.
Updated January 29, 2015