2012-12-26 / Front Page

Buried guns found; suspects identified

BY ERIC LEVINE
editor


Garry Biniecki Garry Biniecki Sheriff’s deputies are seeking charges against two suspects in the Aug. 15 gun theft from Wild John’s Party Store in Greenleaf Township.

Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki said his officers recovered all or most of the remaining weapons Friday afternoon in Macomb County.

Biniecki said Detective Mark Ruggles and Sgt. Darrin Siemens dug up the weapons that were wrapped in plastic and buried in a wooded area.

An 18-year-old Shelby Township suspect led officers to the site, according to the sheriff.

A second Shelby Township suspect, a juvenile, also faces charges.

Approximately 42 hand-guns and high-powered rifles, several thousand rounds of ammunition and $5,000 in cash were stolen from Wild John’s after thieves broke in through a back door.

Twenty-two of the guns and some ammunition were recovered in mid- November, when they mysteriously turned up - with a hand-written message to the owner - at the same door where thieves had gained entry.

Police got a big break in the case when the 18- year-old was arrested in Shelby Township in late November with one of the stolen hand-guns.

“He told police down there that he got the gun from a friend but...(Sanilac Deputy Sheriff) Kevin Nowiski got a huge break when he found out the suspect’s family had property less than eight miles from Wild John’s that puts him in the area up here.”

Biniecki said federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents also checked their records and physically put the 18-yearold in the area.

“In the meantime, Ruggles interviewed the suspect with his attorney and got enough inconsistencies that the suspect came up this morning (Dec. 21) and gave a full confession,” Biniecki stated.

The sheriff added, “the investigation is not only continuing, but Detective Ruggles and Sgt. Siemen are actually in Shelby Township right now (Friday afternoon) in woods recovering the rest of the stolen property.”

Biniecki believes the 18-year-old planned on selling the weapons, but got cold feet when he learned that more than $10,000 in reward money was being offered for the arrest of the thieves.

“He got scared and buried everything,” said the sheriff.

The pair shot-up most of the ammunition and probably spent all the cash, Biniecki said.

The suspects are not expected to be arraigned until January.

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