Automatic rifle, other guns found in man’s home

Greg Masse

Thomas B. Gallagher, the New Castle man arrested April 28 on federal firearms charges, was indicted May 3 in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction.

He has since been released on a $10,000 bond.

Gallagher, 41, is the owner of As You Wish Pools and Spas in Glenwood Springs. He was arrested by U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies while driving near his home.

As Gallagher was being arrested, ATF agents executed a search warrant at his home, on County Road 245. Agents reported that the search turned up a fully automatic rifle; six other firearms; parts used to convert legal rifles into fully automatic rifles, which are not legal; and a large amount of ammunition. The firearms and ammunition were seized by ATF agents.

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Gallagher was indicted on seven federal charges: six counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possessing a fully automatic rifle.

Gallagher was convicted on attempted possession of narcotics in Arizona in 1987. Federal law states that convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms.

Gallagher made his first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice in Grand Junction on the firearms charges on the day of his arrest. He is set to be arraigned on May 19, when he will be asked to enter a plea.

Prior to the bust, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office had been told that Gallagher was shooting an automatic rifle on his property.

When Gallagher was pulled over on April 28, deputies found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle. He was charged in Garfield County Court with suspicion of driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

After Gallagher was issued a summons for the traffic and marijuana violations, he was turned over to the ATF agents for prosecution in federal court.

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