Man with ‘mind boggling’ gun stockpile held in custody; Police note no probable cause for earlier arrest

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BURRILLVILLE – The man arrested last month after police discovered more than 200 guns, ammo and other weapons in his Burrillville home will remain in custody while a judge reviews new information filed by prosecutors in the case.

Local police, meanwhile, reacted to a judge’s questions regarding why the suspect wasn’t held in custody sooner, noting that until the recent arrest, they lacked probable cause.

Ronald Andruchuk, 37, is facing three federal counts including possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and lying on a firearms application following his arrest on Thursday, Feb, 24. Police were called to Andruchuk’s Tarkiln Road home after neighbors reported hearing gunshots, a somewhat common accordance in recent months, according to police.

Andruchuk has been held at the Wyatt Detention Center in Cranston since the arrest, and had a bail hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 8.

On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan ordered that Andruchuk remain behind bars pending the review of the new material. Sullivan has rescheduled the hearing to Friday, March 11 at 2 p.m., reportedly stating that new information filed in the case was “extensive,” and submitted just an hour and a half before the scheduled hearing.

Last week, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s Office appealed Sullivan’s original decision to release Andruchuk.

Her order this week reversed U.S. District Judge John McConnell’s decision that Andruchuk should be released, issued just 24 hours before. In the order, McConnell described the number of weapons found as “mind boggling,” but noted that there are no laws controlling the number of guns a person can own.

A photo released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office shows some of the guns found in Andruchuk’s home.

Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch, meanwhile, responded to McConnell’s musings, quoted last week in the Providence Journal, as to why Burrillville police had not detained Andruchuk sooner, based on the safety risk. Police had reportedly been called to the home on at least nine occasions in recent months.

“Anderchuck was not detained any sooner because we did not have any probable cause to do so,” Lynch told NRI NOW. “Once we were able to develop the required probable cause to affect an arrest we did so.”   

“Until that happened, the day before his arrest, probable cause for his arrest did not exist,” Lynch added.

The investigation last month led to the seizure of more than 211 weapons from the home, which Andruchuk shares with his wife and three young children, including a flamethrower.

Prosecutors have said that Andruchuk has a history of illegal drug use, which he failed to disclose on his firearms application. They have also stated that federal agents also found he was making ghost guns – firearms often made with parts ordered through the mail – in his home.

Andruchuk had previously launched a write-in campaign for a role as state representative in Cranston, running as Republican in 2018.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Very good, smart move by new and better thinking judge. Cannot even imagine what could happen if this person had been released. Great work by the police and prosecutors in preventing a possible catastrophe. God bless these LE people who put in countless hours to keep us all safe.

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