August 14, 2009 in Region

Spokane man who stockpiled weapons gets 4 years

The Spokesman-Review
 
Courtesy U.S. District Court records photo

These weapons were among those found in Ronald L. Struve’s former locker in Bellevue. More were found in space he rented in Spokane.Courtesy U.S. District Court records
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

SEATTLE — A Spokane man who stockpiled what prosecutors described as a “troubling” arsenal of illegal weapons will spend the next four years in prison.

Ronald L. Struve, 67, was also sentenced Friday in Seattle to two years probation and ordered to undergo mental health treatment.

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman said his arsenal posed “a huge danger to the community.”

Struve, a legal stenographer, was arrested in Spokane in January after federal agents raided a storage locker in Bellevue, seizing 37 machine guns, 54 grenades, two grenade launchers and 7.5 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives.

The arsenal was discovered when rent wasn’t paid and the Bellevue unit’s contents were auctioned last November

The agents also searched a stored vehicle and two rental units at 2814 N. Napa St. in Spokane leased by Struve, seizing seven machine guns, a Russian sniper rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle, and a host of machine gun parts that are illegal to own without proper federal licenses.

Agents also seized 33 other legal firearms for safekeeping from the north Spokane location, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say many of the weapons had been stolen from the military.

The arsenal was discovered when rent wasn’t paid and the unit’s contents were auctioned last November.

Struve’s lawyer, Jay Stansell, has described his client as “nothing more than a loner-type person with some unusual political ideas.”


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