Utah County Man Faces January Trial Date on Federal Charges of Possession of 42 Stolen Firearms, Stealing Firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee
SALT LAKE CITY - A Jan. 26, 2015, trial date has been set in U.S. District Court for Shawn Phillip Hansen, age 32, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, who has been charged in an indictment with stealing 42 firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in Springville. Hansen was an employee of the FFL at the time the alleged thefts took place.
Hansen was charged in a two-count indictment returned in November. The first count of the indictment alleges that beginning on an unknown date and continuing through Sept. 24, 2014, Hansen had 42 stolen firearms in his possession. The second count of the indictment charges him with stealing the firearms from the FFL.
The 42 firearms include a variety of rifles, revolvers, pistols, handguns, and shotguns, including two Taurus International .410 caliber revolvers; two Winchester rifles; six Colt pistols; three U.S.A. Military Surplus .30-06 rifles; and two Browning shotguns. The estimated value of the stolen firearms is around $100,000.
The case came to law enforcement’s attention after the owner of the business determined that a firearm was missing from his inventory. Further investigation identified 42 missing firearms. The case is being investigated by the Springville Police Department and special agents of the ATF.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen, the case is being prosecuted federally as a part of the Utah Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiative. PSN, which includes partnerships between local, state and federal police officers and prosecutors, is designed to create safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in crime associated with gang and gun violence.
“As the result of hard work by Springville detectives and agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, led by Springville Detective Jeff Ellsworth, over 40 weapons have been recovered and removed from the streets of Springville. Removing stolen guns from the streets reduces crime in our community, makes the dealer who had the guns stolen whole, and increases the safety of our citizens. We are pleased the U.S. Attorney’s Office is working with us to keep our communities safe,” Springville Police Chief K. Scott Finlayson said today.
The potential maximum penalty for each count in the indictment is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Hansen was released with conditions following an initial appearance on the charges.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.