Stolen law enforcement guns recovered

PORT ANGELES — Two department-issued Glock handguns stolen from the home of two Clallam County Sheriff’s Office employees over the summer have been recovered.

The first was recovered during an Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team raid on a home on North Larch Avenue east of Port Angeles in July and the second was recovered this week after a stolen vehicle was returned to its owner.

In each case the guns were recovered in unrelated investigations, or as Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King put it, through “pure luck.”

“It’s somewhat of a mystery how we’ve been fortunate to recover these two firearms by sheer coincidence,” he said.

The two Glock 22 .40 caliber pistols were stolen from the home of Sgt. John Hollis and Corrections Deputy Elizabeth Hollis on June 29. Also stolen were a Ruger 1911-style .45 caliber pistol and an antique Walther PPK .380 caliber pistol.

Only the Glocks have been recovered and there have been no arrests related to the stolen guns.

Though the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office recovered both guns, the Port Angeles Police Department is leading the investigation because the burglary happened within city limits.

Deputy Chief Jason Viada said police are working with deputies on the open investigation.

The first gun was recovered July 12 when OPNET officers raided a suspected drug house they had been investigating for several months.

Investigators recovered the Glock handgun, 6 grams of heroin and about $300. They arrested Justin Cody Bricker, who was then charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

Bricker posted $30,000 bond Aug. 3 and has a trial scheduled for Dec. 10.

Court documents said Bricker admitted to trading another handgun for the Glock. One serial number on the gun had been removed, but the serial number along the slide was not altered.

“We were trying to track backward to tie it to individuals at the Hollis residence,” King said. “It certainly passed through a few hands.”

On Sept. 16, deputies arrested a man who was driving a stolen truck. That truck was returned to its owner, but on Monday the owner reported that one of his employees found a Glock pistol in the truck.

“We responded and that Glock they found in the vehicle was in fact our stolen .40 caliber Glock,” King said.

The Sheriff’s Office has been conducting an internal investigation into whether the Hollises violated policy. The Sheriff’s Office requires department-issued weapons to be stored securely and locked so that they are not accessible.

King, who is conducting the internal investigation, said he still has more questions before making a final recommendation to the Sheriff.

He said he would like to see the the full investigation into the thefts before making a decision.

“It may or may not change any of the facts that started this event,” he said. “It’s good to have everything available.”

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.