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Goldfield man convicted on federal gun charges

LAS VEGAS — A longtime resident of Goldfield was recently sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release after he was found to have improperly possessed and attempted to purchase firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.

Michael Rippie, 67, was sentenced Nov. 15 in Las Vegas by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro after a jury found him guilty on Aug. 9 of possession of a firearm by a person previously found to be a mental defective and committed to a mental institution and making false statements to acquire firearms.

Rippie was arrested and charged in the case in April. He was later released from custody pending trial with special conditions at which time he resided with his former wife in Pahrump.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, court records show Rippie was adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity in 1971 for a 1970 armed robbery in Colorado and was committed to a mental institution.

On Sept. 10, 2010, Rippie was then reported to have knowingly made a false written statement to a firearms dealer in Tonopah in an attempt to purchase a long gun, stating that he had not been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.

On April 10, 2013, Rippie was arrested at his home in Goldfield with 15 firearms, including two loaded semi-automatic assault-type rifles with extended 30-round clips and a loaded semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol. The U.S. Attorney’s office also stated Rippie was found in possession of more than 22,000 rounds of ammunition at his residence.

Rippie is reportedly well-known to law enforcement in the Goldfield and Tonopah areas and had one conviction and 13 arrests over the last 48 years, six of which involved firearms.

Rippie was placed in federal custody immediately following sentencing.

“Federal laws prohibit certain individuals from prohibiting (sic) firearms, including felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens, persons convicted of domestic violence offenses or subject to restraining orders, and persons who have been previously adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to mental institution,” U.S. Attorney Bogden said in a prepared statement. “Too many recent shooting incidents have demonstrated how dangerous firearms can be when they are in the hands of someone with a mental disorder. We will work with our local and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that persons who unlawfully possess firearms in violation of these laws are prosecuted federally.”

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