Former Pasadena police lieutenant to plead guilty to illegally selling firearms

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A former lieutenant in the Pasadena Police Department has agreed to plead guilty to two federal felony offenses connected to illegally selling more than 100 firearms over three years.

Vasken Kenneth Gourdikian, 48, will plead guilty to engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

Gourdikian resigned in March from the police department after 22 years.

The former lieutenant is alleged to have sold at least 108 firearms without a license from March 2014 through February 2017.

Gourdikian leveraged his career as a police officer to purchase firearms not available to the general public, authorities said, and then sell the weapons using a third-party to make deals. He is alleged to have used the status of the firearms to drive up the cost.

Authorities said as a police officer, he didn't have to wait for the mandatory waiting period and could buy several guns at a time.

Gourdikian will appear before a judge on Sept. 20 to formally enter his guilty pleas to the two felony offenses.

As part of the plea agreement, Gourdikian will be recommended to serve a term of imprisonment of 30 months for each count to run concurrently, followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

Mark Werksman, the attorney representing Gourdikian, will ask the judge to sentence his client to only probation, and avoid prison time.

"His service record is exemplary," Werksman said in a statement. "He meant no harm and is very remorseful."

"He deserves an opportunity to prove he's a good citizen," Werksman said. "He has a lifetime of hard work dedicated to improving the community."

Werksman said Gourdikian was a firearm hobbyist who crossed the line and violated the federal gun laws by being an unlicensed firearms dealer.

"Each of the sale was a legal sale," Werksman said. "But he sold 70 of them in a period of two years. This volume of sales makes him a firearms dealer."

The judge will have to approve the plea agreement and decide the final sentencing.
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