A former manager of the gun store at the Los Angeles Police Academy has been charged with stealing more than 20 guns and illegally selling them to several officers.
Archi Duenas, 34, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including grand theft of a firearm, grand theft by embezzlement and illegal possession of an assault weapon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Duenas also pleaded not guilty to 22 misdemeanor counts of unlawfully selling or transferring a firearm without a license and one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded and concealed firearm in a vehicle.
None of the police officers and a deputy sheriff who bought guns from him have been charged. According to law enforcement sources not authorized to discuss the investigation, one of the buyers was an LAPD captain.
In February, the LAPD commercial crimes division began investigating the disappearance of at least 35 firearms from the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club gun store, a private organization whose members are law enforcement, after a discrepancy was found in the inventory.
Investigators a month later arrested Duenas. In the charges, Duenas is accused of taking at least 21 guns during a two-year period beginning in early 2018, then selling the guns, according to the District Attorney's Office.
LAPD detectives have determined that of the 35 stolen firearms, 24 have been recovered.
Several LAPD officers were placed on administrative assignment during the investigation after it was determined they acquired the firearms, but later returned to work. According to sources, Duenas allegedly sold the firearms at a considerably discounted price that law enforcement sources said should have alerted the buyers.
If convicted as charged, Duenas could face up to 12 1/2 years behind bars.