Richard Wyatt, known for his role on the Discovery Channel program “American Guns”, has been formally convicted of 10 felony counts including conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion. The jury was hung on three counts of illegally importing weapons. The verdict is the result of years-long federal investigations into the Wyatt family and the Gunsmoke Guns gun shop. According to the Denver Post, the various charges carry up to 15 years in federal prison.
The case itself is a crazy example of how one could operate a business. Before negotiating a deal with the Discovery Channel, Wyatt had previously surrendered his Federal Firearms Licence (2009). Simply put, the ATF is reasonable to work with and voluntary forfeiture screams malfeasance, but without a license, Wyatt earned through the show over $500,000 from 2011 to 2012 before reaction from Sandy Hock got the show canceled.
Reading through the case, Wyatt concealed income and fraudulently operated the Gunsmoke Guns shop, despite another owner on the license. The court records show that Wyatt conspired with the owner of “Triggers”, another local shop, to operate the business under a straw license.
Considering the recent choices for various firearms gun shows have all ended in felony arrests, one hopes the various networks are a bit more judicious before selecting another “cast”