Accused arms dealer: Cops were frequent customers

2013-04-11T03:50:00Z 2014-03-31T15:21:08Z Accused arms dealer: Cops were frequent customersBy JONATHAN EDWARDS / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The 35-year-old Lincoln man facing federal gun-running charges told undercover ATF agents he routinely dealt with Nebraska law enforcement out of his southeast Lincoln house.

“Cops come in all the time to sell and buy firearms and other stuff,” Ashley Gerbig said, according to the 33-page search warrant affidavit ATF Special Agent Paul White filed last month to get a warrant to search Gerbig’s one-story brick house at 6209 Deerwood Drive.

White went to Gerbig’s house on Feb. 26 amid a yearlong sting and said he inspected an HK USP .40-caliber pistol that was lying on a pool table, the affidavit says.

Gerbig told White a Nebraska State Patrol trooper sold him the handgun -- his duty weapon -- along with two other firearms, for cash.

It’s illegal for troopers to sell their duty weapons, which are state property, but the patrol never has issued an HK USP .40 caliber pistol as a duty weapon, patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said Wednesday.

Troopers have carried Glock pistols since 1991, she said.

A trooper caught selling or buying weapons from a gun dealer who didn’t have a federal license would get in trouble, but the accusations would have to be proved, Collins said.

“There would be consequences,” she said, adding that she didn’t know what they would be.

The ATF has not alerted the patrol that one of their troopers may have sold his or her duty weapon, or that the bureau is investigating Gerbig's claim, Collins said.

Special Agent Trista Frederick declined to say whether the ATF is investigating.

Gerbig’s father, Stanley Gerbig, had a federal license to sell guns for 13 years until 2010, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked it, saying he had violated the federal Gun Control Act several times.

The next year, Ashley Gerbig applied for a license, but agents denied the request, saying their investigation showed that he, too, violated the act.

Collins declined to comment on Gerbig’s specific statement about buying a duty weapon from an patrol employee, saying it would be inappropriate because it’s an active case.

During another meeting 2 1/2 weeks earlier, White said he saw a man enter Gerbig’s house to return ammunition magazines. The man was dressed in what looked like a police uniform, and Gerbig told White he frequented the business.

Agents searched Gerbig's home March 19 and seized 678 firearms, including rifles, handguns, shotguns and AR-15s. They also took 13 grenades, mortar rounds and other explosives from the one-story brick house.

A day later, a federal grand jury charged him with six counts of selling firearms to a felon, guns that included an AR-15, AK-47, shotgun, rifle and pistol. If convicted, Gerbig faces 10 years in prison on each count.

A federal judge released Gerbig on April 1 to await trial.

Reach Jonathan Edwards at 402-473-7395 or jedwards@journalstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/LJSedwards.

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