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Newington Gun Store Owners Plead Guilty to Violating Gun Laws

According to federal officials, the BMG gun store in Newington kept firearms, including machine guns and guns with silencers, without changing the registration.

Two owners of a Newington gun store, one from North Branford, the other from Northford, pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating firearms laws.

The United States Attorney's Office in Connecticut on Wednesday issued this announcement on the pleas:

Brian Vanacore, 48, of North Branford, Greg Bodytko, 54, of Northford, and their business, BMG LLC, pleaded guilty today in Bridgeport federal court to violating federal firearms laws.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Vanacore and Bodytko were the owners of BMG LLC (BMC), which operated a gun store at 2585 Berlin Turnpike in Newington. 

Vanacore and BMG had three separate federal firearms licenses to deal firearms in Connecticut, and Bodytko was a 50 percent partner in the business with Vanacore.

In the summer of 2013, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a routine inspection of BMG’s Newington store. 

During the inspection, ATF inspectors found several firearms, including machine guns and silencers, which are required to be registered under the National Firearms Act.  BMG records revealed that BMG had purchased these firearms, but had not changed the registration information in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. 

As a result, each of the firearms remained registered to the individual who sold them to BMG.  In total, BMG possessed 15 firearms that it should have registered under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

BMG, Vanacore and Bodytko also failed, on numerous occasions, to report the sale of multiple handguns to the same individual, and failed to record in their Acquisition and Disposition records the acquisition and/or disposition of hundreds of firearms. 

On numerous occasions, the defendants failed to fill out properly, or failed to fill out at all, ATF Form 4473, a form that must be completed by individuals who purchase firearms from federally-licensed firearms dealers.  They also failed to conduct necessary background checks on at least 10 separate occasions.        

Vanacore and Bodytko each pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel to one count of failing to keep a complete and accurate written record in its acquisition and disposition records for firearms, and one count of failing to report the multiple sale of handguns. 

Vanacore also entered a guilty plea on behalf of BMG to one count of making false entries in dealer’s records. Vanacore and BMG are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford on May 28, 2014, and Bodytko is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Shea on June 6, 2014. 

Vanacore and Bodytko face a maximum term of imprisonment of one year and a fine of up to $100,000. This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Michael Runowicz.

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