A Fall From Grace – Rich Wyatt In Prison
Convicted on 10 of 13 counts, a Rich Wyatt prison sentence is likely and pending. He awaits sentencing on July 19, 2017, by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger.
Sentence Update March 8, 2018: Richard Wyatt received a 6 1/2 year prison sentence, and 490 previously seized firearms were ordered forfeited. To read the full sentencing update scroll down to the bottom of the page, or click here.
Update January 18, 2018: Once again Rich has been given a continuance. The sentencing hearing has been continued again and is now scheduled for March 8, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger.
Update November 1, 2017: Richard Wyatt’s sentencing hearing has been reset, perhaps for the last time, to January 18, 2018 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom A 901, at the Alfred A. Arraj Federal Courthouse in Denver, Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger presiding. It had been tentatively set for December 19, 2017 but that date was vacated by the judge. I would imagine that there won’t be many more delays before Wyatt is finally sentenced. Stay tuned.
Update September 22, 2017: Wyatt’s new attorney has yet to inform the court as to when they’ll be properly prepared to represent him during the sentencing hearing. It’s a delay tactic most likely. I’ve been told that it’s highly likely that a date will be set in October, meaning Wyatt’s sentencing date will be scheduled in October, for a later date, perhaps November or December even. I’ll update here as soon that occurs.
Update August 10, 2017: Rich fired his attorney (who had apparently requested to withdraw as counsel anyway) and so the judge will give new counsel some time to become familiar with the case specifics before proceeding with sentencing. The judge will likely schedule a new hearing within a week or two and when that happens I’ll update here.
Update July 20, 2017: I was in contact with the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado, and was told that on June 27, 2017, Chief Judge Marcia Krieger reset Wyatt’s sentencing date. It’s currently scheduled for August 10, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.. However, on July 10, 2017, Wyatt’s attorney asked to withdraw as counsel, so that could change the sentencing hearing date yet again.
Rich Wyatt was found guilty on March 10, 2017 of 10 federal charges- one count of conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license and 9 various tax charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
The jury, which deliberated for 5 days, was hung on 3 other charges related to importing illegal weapons.
Rich Wyatt lost his Federal Firearms License (FFL) in April, 2012 (yes, in the middle of Discovery’s American Guns television series) due to violations of federal laws and regulations. But he continued to operate his gun store and sell firearms under a straw license belonging to someone else.
After he surrendered his FFL, Wyatt was found to have changed the address for Triggers Firearms LLC’s (Triggers) FFL to that of Gunsmoke, so that he could continue to sell firearms out of his store. Bottom line, Triggers was acting as a straw licensee for Gunsmoke without having lawfully transferred ownership of the firearms later sold under the scheme.
The Rich Wyatt trial will likely have the positive effect of forcing gun shops and those in the industry to tighten things up a bit, which is good for those of us who love guns because this negative attention only fuels the fires of rabid progressives.
Then there’s the tax issue. According to the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado, Wyatt failed to pay personal income tax in years 2009, when he made approximately $290,000, in 2010, when he made approximately $123,000, and in 2012, when he made approximately $689,000.
Further, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Wyatt failed to pay corporate taxes. In 2012, Wyatt willfully filed a tax return he knew to be false, stating that he lost money, when in fact he made at least $350,000 that he failed to disclose.
Related to these charges, back in 2013 agents executed a Search Warrant on Wyatt’s Gunsmoke Shop and that event created a lot attention. You can see a copy of that affidavit at the bottom of this article. Here’s a news report of agents searching Gunsmoke.
That’s a whole lot of bad! Who is Rich Wyatt any way?
You know him as the front man of American Guns and the amped-up owner of Gunsmoke Guns in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, which is a bustling suburb of Denver.
American Guns was the popular Discovery TV reality show which aired for two seasons in 2011 and 2012 before Discovery bowed to liberal pressures and cancelled the show.
Rich’s somewhat ‘high and tight’ haircut gives an enduring ‘clean cut and honest’ impression and his fast-talking, in-your-face mannerism makes him seem like half award-winning salesman and half professor.
The headline “Rich Wyatt Arrested” was seen virtually around the globe as Wyatt turned himself in to law enforcement on Thursday, February 11, 2016, related to these latest charges for which he was convicted.
Rich Wyatt Today
To understand Rich Wyatt today we should go back almost 2 decades to see the somewhat troubled path that led to his current, self-inflicted predicament.
Rich Wyatt says in his profile that he first attended Jeff Coopers Orange Gunsite Ranch in 1987 and after instructing with Col. Jeff Cooper for several years was certified as one of only six Master Instructors by the Col.
Rich claims he is also certified by the NRA, the P.O.S.T. board and the FBI. His profile continues that he is “certified by most major manufactures of firearms as an armorer. He has taught thousands of student in both law enforcement and the private sector. He also had the honor of traveling and hunting Africa with Col. Jeff Cooper. Rich is also the host of Spike TV’s Don’t be a Victim series Practical Tactical.”
Rich Wyatt has always had flair for the dramatic. In 2002, Wyatt bought an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine offering a $100,000 reward to anybody who killed Osama bin Laden with one of his Gunsmoke rifles.
However, few people know that Wyatt also ran for Jefferson County Sheriff in 2002 (Golden, Colorado is the county seat and it’s a Denver suburb). He was unsuccessful, coming in second place in the County Assembly to Russ Cook, so he didn’t even make it to the Primary.
Not being one to shy away from the limelight or to “not win”, Rich Wyatt filed a lawsuit against his opponent. The lawsuit was dismissed and Sheriff Cook went on to win the election. Though in a bit of unrelated irony Sheriff Cook would resign 6 months after taking office in 2003, admitting that he was an alcoholic and needed help.
Rich says that he has 22 years in law enforcement and 25 years experience in firearms training. He claims to have “retired” as Chief of Police in Alma, Colorado.
However, the city of Alma disagrees and claims that he was fired in 2005. In a lawsuit filed in Park County, Colorado on May 23, 2013, in an attempt to get back the badge and credentials, the City of Alma claims that Wyatt was asked to turn his badge and city property in but he refused:
“Wyatt, who was fired in 2005, held on to his badge after his termination even though he had been asked to turn in all town property he possessed.“
That doesn’t at all sound like someone who “retired” and who left on good terms.
Apparently this suit was filed so many years later because Wyatt had used the credentials to get entry into a government event. More specifically,
“Wyatt used the credentials to get into the Colorado State Capitol building in March  to participate in discussions regarding pending gun legislation. He allegedly represented himself as a retired Chief of Police and then presented his badge.”
Rich Wyatt Divorce
On February 02, 2005 Rich Wyatt was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Fugitive Apprehension Team, without incident, at Wyatt’s Gunsmoke shop. The arrest stemmed from Contempt of Court charges related to his 2002 divorce from ex-wife Rebecca Wyatt.
The two were divorced in 2002 and the judge in that settlement ordered Rich to pay his ex-wife $4,100 a month and to surrender to her two firearms. Rich was granted ownership of two parcels of real estate.
Rich being Rich, he didn’t pay the court-ordered money nor did he surrender the two firearms. Landing back in court he told the judge that he couldn’t afford the payments, which is when the ex-wife’s council provided bank statements showing otherwise.
The 2005 incident was a continuation of the 2002 divorce settlement and his ex-wife’s attempt to get the money and firearms, and something else… the Judge in the divorce case ordered Wyatt to return 100 nude photos of Rebecca.
Wyatt allegedly returned some of the photos but only after marking them up with lewd comments and remarks. Having enough the judge ordered his arrest for contempt. The ex-wife’s attorney, George Johnson, somewhat prophetically called Wyatt a ‘scofflaw’.
It’s not clear right now whether or nor Wyatt was still the Chief of Police at the time of his arrest, and perhaps it was the arrest itself that led to his dismissal, but the divorce almost certainly played a role.
Meet The Wyatt Family @ American Guns
Rich and Renee married sometime late 2005 or early 2006 and well before American Guns aired on The Discovery Channel. The children on the show, Paige and Curt, are not Rich’s biological children though they now bear his name.
It’s uncertain if they’re legally adopted by Rich or if the name usage was for TV only, though both still use the name Wyatt publicly. They were both born with their father’s last name, Grewcock.
Rich and Renee do have two biological children together, Brooke was born in 2006 and Ginger was born in 2009.
Rich was always one to find an opportunity, call it hard work or hustle. In 2011 he landed the Discovery gig and the show shot off with a lot of popularity. Season 2 was even more popular before the Sandy Hook shooting gave progressives another reason to wet themselves. Discovery bowed to the loud-mouthed pressure of the minority liberal fringe and canceled the show.
It’s unclear what will happen to the Gunsmoke and/or American Guns brand, but hopefully Renee and the kids pick up the pieces of Rich’s shenanigans and make the most of it. People seemed to be interested in their characters, given the reality-loving nature of us Americans.
The End Of An Era
Rich had a tumultuous life and climbed from obscurity to semi-fame, only to lose himself to greed and arrogance. Where it not for his defenseless decisions he could’ve rode off into the sunset, a millionaire and famous.
Where is Rich Wyatt now? Sitting in a jail cell somewhere in the Rockies waiting until July so that he can find out his fate. While it’s unlikely that he’ll serve a full 15 year sentence, it seems almost certain that he’ll be a full-time prison inmate soon.
Along with Richard’s 6 1/2 year prison sentence, he’ll be on supervised parole for another 3 years after he’s released. Of course 490 of the weapons that had been seized by the feds were ordered forfeited since they had been used in the commission of his crimes.
And then there’s the matter of fines and penalties for the Tax Evasion portion of his conviction, and those will be determined at hearing at some point in the future; I imagine they’ll be significant. His back taxes exceed $500,000 for 2009 – 2012, so yea, he’s in deep.
Here’s what U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer had to say about Wyatt.
A man has to make a choice, and Wyatt chose wrong. Unless your ambition is to serve a long sentence in prison, selling guns illegally and cheating on your taxes are going to be bad choices. Click To Tweet
As I had previously reported, Gunsmoke was using a straw license to sell guns. That is, they would have customers go to the other business (Triggers, a store in Castle Rock, Colorado) for the background check and paperwork, but the customer paid Gunsmoke.
And Wyatt was purposely covering up his shenanigans. Here’s more specific details that I’ve learned about the cover up.
Without a federal firearms license, Wyatt ran his business by directing Gunsmoke employees to enter firearm sales in Gunsmoke’s computer point of sales software system as “miscellaneous” sales rather than firearm sales.
Wyatt’s attorney had pleaded with the court to deliver a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years, citing Wyatt’s loss of his 2nd Amendment rights as “severe as could be imagined aside from incarceration.” As you know a felony conviction causes a person to forfeit certain rights, which is a matter for discussion in and of itself.
In another failed attempt to gain leniency, Wyatt’s attorney referenced his client’s law enforcement background in order to paint some shade of favorable character… it failed miserably.
Both the U.S. attorneys and Chief Judge Krieger agreed that his being a former law enforcement officer only made Wyatt’s actions worse because it highlighted his blatant and willful disregard for the law.
Wyatt apologized to his family, friends and community for the damage and suffering he caused them. He went on to say:
“But I got in a little bit over my head. The pressure of it. The places I got to go and the people I got to meet … I drank the Kool-Aid and I thought I was special.”
The Denver Post’s Elizabeth Hernandez reports that when asked by the judge what he felt he did wrong, Wyatt answered “I didn’t do the paperwork, I didn’t pay my fair share.”
When Chief Judge Krieger was handing down her sentence, she cited Wyatt’s statement as evidence of his not fully understanding what he did wrong or how serious his crimes were. The Judge went on to say that Wyatt appeared to be only remorseful for his situation and not for his bad choices.
With Wyatt’s felony conviction comes the end of his firearms ownership and thereby any chance he had at resurrecting the Gunsmoke era. As of this writing he’s being held at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City as he waits for his final prison transfer.
Do you think the charges were too much or not enough, and do you think he ought to serve jail time for those crimes? What do you think about Rich Wyatt? Let me know in the comments.