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Former Pasadena Police Lieutenant Accused of Illegally Selling Firearms Pleads Guilty: DA

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A former Pasadena police lieutenant accused of illegally selling firearms pleaded guilty to two charges on Thursday, officials said.

Prosecutors charged Vasken Gourdikian, a 22-year veteran with the Police Department, with dealing in firearms without a license and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The agency announced earlier in September that Gourdikian planned to admit to the charges.

He was scheduled to be sentenced in February 2019, said Tracy Webb, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman for the Central District of California.

Federal officials reported seizing nearly 60 guns from his Sierra Madre home in February 2017. The next month, the U.S. Attorney's Office said  Gourdikian had sold more than 100 firearms without a license since March 2014.

Gourdikian used his position to buy weapons not available to the public then sold them, prosecutors alleged.

Routine sales analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives prompted investigators to look into the lieutenant's actions, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, at least one of the firearms sold by the former officer was discovered at a crime scene following the sale.

When federal officials announced the former officer's planned guilty plea in September, Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell said Gourdikian had not been "an active member" of the Police Department for more than a year and a half.

The Pasadena Star-News reported, however, that Gourdikian collected almost $200,000 in pay while remaining in his position on paid leave more than a year after federal agents first searched his home.

Prosecutors said they were recommending a 30-month prison sentence.

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