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Rhode Island man pleads guilty to illegally purchasing 200+ guns

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)
January 21, 2023

On Wednesday, a Burrillville, Rhode Island man admitted to a federal judge he illegally purchased and possessed more than 200 firearms and he made false statements when purchasing the firearms, the United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced.

Ronald Andruchuk 38, was arrested Feb. 24, 2022, at his Burrillville home where federal agents seized more than 200 firearms, a flame thrower and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The arrest was part of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to federal prosecutors, during a review of sales reports of firearms in the fall of 2018, ATF learned that Andruchuk purchased 169 firearms between July 2021 and November 2021. Investigators learned that Andruchuk had previous contact with the Cranston Police Department, including an arrest on controlled substance offenses. Andruchuk admitted to police to having a substance abuse problem.

In December 2021, two firearms, drugs and other items were located in the drop ceiling of a men’s bathroom inside a Millbury, Massachusetts Tractor Supply Co. store shortly after Andruchuk left the restroom.

After Andruchuk left the store, an employee approached the manager and told them they noticed boot footprints on the seat of the toilet in the men’s restroom, court records showed.

The manager told investigators she used a ladder to check the drop ceiling in the men’s bathroom and located an empty yellow product box and saw what she believed was the grip of a handgun.

The manager then called the police.

The trooper stopped Andruchuk outside after exiting the store for violation of parking in a handicapped spot. He identified himself via a Rhode Island driver’s license as Ronald Andruchuk, according to court documents.

Responding officers examined the yellow box and its contents, which were determined to be a Ruger .380 caliber pistol and a North American Arms .22 caliber pistol. They also found three rounds of ammunition and two flashlights, records show.

When inspecting the items as part of the evidence, officials found a white powdery substance inside the bottom of one of the flashlights. Inside the bottom of the second flashlight, authorities found three blue pills and a mixture of partial pills and powder, court records show.

ATF officials were able to identify that Andruchuk purchased the Ruger pistol on Sept. 3, 2021, from D&L Shooting Supplies located at 3314 West Shore Road in Warwick, Rhode Island, a federal court affidavit shows.

Lab tests identified the white powdery substance as cocaine, the blue pills as oxycodone and the partial pill mix and powder to be amphetamine/cocaine, court records said.

Andruchuk does not have a license to carry firearms or a firearms identification card active in the state of Massachusetts.

The Rhode Island man once ran for a state representative seat.

ATF also reviewed firearm sales records that Andruchuk filled out on Nov. 17, 2021, and Dec. 11, 2021, when attempting to purchase firearms at two-gun stores in Rhode Island and discovered he falsely claimed he was not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

The firearms and ammunition were discovered by federal authorities at Andruchuk’s Rhode Island home on Feb. 24, 2022, after officers responded to his residence for the ninth time to investigate reports of shots fired. Court records show neighbors called police in Burrillville multiple times reporting Andruchuk firing guns recklessly, with some complaining of bullets almost hitting them.

When officers arrived at his residence on Feb. 24, Andruchuk was still firing shots. He was found wearing a bulletproof vest and tactical gear which he referred to as his “battle belt.” He was also carrying four firearms and methamphetamine, officials said.

A search of the man’s home resulted in the seizure of 211 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition, which was found “strewn throughout the residence and the property he shares with his wife and three young children,” according to authorities.

Andruchuk was then arrested on a warrant.

The 38-year-old man ran as a candidate for state representative as a Republican in Rhode Island’s District 14 in 2018. A campaign Facebook profile shows he advocated for small government, medical freedom, religious freedom, military preparedness, high moral and ethical standards, was pro-life and opposed government censorship.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to two charges of making a false statement of material fact during a firearm purchase and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17, 2023.

According to officials, Andruchuk will forfeit all of the 219 firearms seized by ATF and Burrillville police which included approximately 25,390 rounds, or 1,555.8 pounds, of assorted boxed and loose ammunition of various calibers. The forfeited firearms and ammunition will be destroyed.


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