California officer sold stolen guns, used police database for private investigation firm

John Nyunt

John Nyunt pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May 2014.

A Northern California police commander pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday for possessing stolen firearms, according to authorities.

Cmdr. John Nyunt of the Pacific Grove Police Department admitted to stealing rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic pistols from the Monterey Peninsula College Police Academy when it closed.

Nyunt, 52, was an instructor at the academy and accepted the guns as a donation on behalf of his department, knowing full well that PGPD did not want them and he was not authorized to enter into such an agreement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.   

In August 2009, the officer brought the guns to a firearms dealer, who over time sold the batch — which included 27 Glock semi-automatic pistols and 5 Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols — and then paid Nyunt the proceeds, according to authorities.

The dealer took a commission on the guns he sold and gave five back to Nyunt, who then either sold the guns himself or gave them away.

The maximum sentence Nyum can receive is ten years in prison, but both parties in the case have agreed on a lesser sentence, which includes 30 months to run along with a plea deal reached in a related case.   

According to court documents, Nyum also operated as a private investigator, during which time he used the police department’s investigative software for his personal business. He pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud. A plea deal is still being negotiated.

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