A former civilian manager of a gun store at the Los Angeles Police Academy next to Elysian Park pleaded not guilty today to charges that he stole more than 20 guns and then illegally sold them.
Archi Duenas, 34, is charged with one felony count each of 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.
He is also charged with 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.
Duenas is accused of taking at least 21 guns from the academy -- also known as the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club -- during a two-year period beginning in early 2018, and then selling the guns to others, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The private club is run by civilian employees and primarily used by law enforcement officers.
Duenas - formerly the assistant gun store manager at 1880 Academy Drive - was arrested March 19 by the Los Angeles Police Department and released the following day on bond.
If convicted as charged, he could face up to 12 1/2 years in custody, according to the District Attorney's Office.
[UPDATE] The LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division was notified on February 28 that multiple firearms were missing from the LAPRAAC store, after a discrepancy had turned up in the inventory tracking systems, according to an LAPD press release. A preliminary investigation showed that the guns were taken in a series of grand thefts, police said.
Of the 35 stolen firearms, 24 have been recovered and 11 remain outstanding, the LAPD said.
-- Additional reporting by The Eastsider staff.