Vancouver men indicted in gun theft case

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter



Two Vancouver men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the theft of 26 firearms a year ago.

Nicholas Southard and Daniel McNett were indicted in the Nov. 30, 2010, burglary of Discount Guns on Highway 99 in Vancouver.

They are charged with theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee, as well as possession and sale of stolen firearms.

Southard, 21, currently is in state custody on unrelated charges, according to Thursday’s news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

McNett, 22, was arrested Monday. McNett also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, due to a 2009 conviction for theft in Clark County.

According to the indictment, the men broke into Discount Guns and stole 26 firearms, including one rifle and 25 pistols of various makes and calibers.

So far, eight of the guns have been recovered; officials are asking anyone with information about the crime to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867).

The ATF is continuing to investigate the burglary. Prosecutors could bring additional charges against people who possess the stolen guns or have been part of transactions involving the firearms, according to a Department of Justice spokeswoman.

Trial is scheduled for Jan. 24 in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington.

If convicted, the men face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

ATF investigators are being assisted by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Vancouver Police Department.