SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Wayne Lawrence Standart, 39, of Daly City, was convicted of conspiracy to possess stolen firearms and possession of stolen firearms by a federal jury yesterday. The jury, after deliberating approximately six hours, found that the defendant agreed with two other individuals to steal a very large private collection of firearms that were stored in a storage locker at Annie’s Attic in Millbrae. The guilty verdict followed a two week jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston. This conviction is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.
Evidence at trial showed that the victim stored his firearm collection at Annie’s Attic in December of 2001. Sometime thereafter, one of Mr. Standart’s co-defendants discovered the firearm collection after picking the lock on the victim’s locker. Mr. Standart and two co-defendants thereafter agreed to return to the locker and steal the remaining firearms. They subsequently returned to the locker and stole all but two of the remaining firearms. In all, 127 firearms were stolen from the locker.
Mr. Standart is the final defendant charged with these crimes to be found guilty. The other two, Arthur Gates and Thomas Schoenstein, pleaded guilty on February 11, 2005, and January 5, 2006, respectively. These convictions finalize a two year investigation by the ATF into the theft of this large firearm collection, which began when the theft was discovered in August of 2004. Of the 127 stolen firearms, approximately 24 have been recovered by various law enforcement agencies. The investigation began when the Fresno Police Department recovered one of the stolen firearms during an arrest in August 2004. They notified the victim, who had not been to the storage locker since placing the firearms there in December 2001. Upon returning to the locker in August 2004, the victim discovered that all but two of the firearms were gone.
The sentencing of Mr. Standart is scheduled for May 12, 2006, before Judge Illston in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for count one in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 is five years and the maximum statutory penalty for count two in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j) is 10 years. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000, plus restitution, which will be determined before sentencing. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Jeffrey Finigan is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rawaty Yim. The prosecution is the result of a two year investigation by the ATF.