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Posted: 8/1/2011 3:01:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2011 5:49:37 PM EDT by kcr121]

Police concealed cop's gun crime, sources say

BY DAVID GAMBACORTA
Philadelphia Daily News
gambacd@phillynews.com 215-854-5994

Posted on Mon, Aug. 1, 2011

HE STARTED crying, just a little at first, but then he couldn't stop, and the tears flowed like a waterfall.

Officer Anthony Magsam was in a world of trouble. It was August 2009, police sources said, and the young cop with high-ranking relatives in the Police Department had just tearfully confessed to stealing parts from two automatic weapons from the department's Firearms Identification Unit.

He found a measure of comfort from his boss, Lt. Vincent Testa, the commanding officer of the unit.

Rather than reporting Magsam, who allegedly committed a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Testa agreed to quietly transfer him to another unit and not to report the theft, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge of the incident.

Everything went according to plan. Until now, that is.

On Friday, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey called for an audit of the FIU in light of the alleged cover-up, and he transferred Testa out of the unit.

The moves were made after the Daily News began inquiring about the transfer and about the Internal Affairs investigation, which appeared to have stalled after having been opened more than a year ago.

Also, the lead Internal Affairs investigator was replaced, as was Capt. Carmen Vuotto, who was overseeing the investigator's work. Vuotto previously worked in the FIU with Testa.

Left untouched, thus far, was Magsam, whose mother, Barbara Feeney, a longtime police sergeant, is married to retired police Chief Inspector Michael Feeney.



Federal crime left unpunished?

Magsam was known by colleagues in the FIU as a gun collector, and he spoke often about knowing how to convert semiautomatic weapons into automatic weapons, according to more than a half-dozen police sources who are familiar with the Internal Affairs investigation and Magsam's tenure in the unit.

When firearms examiners discovered that parts from an AR-15 and M2 carbine had been removed - and crudely replaced with parts from a semiautomatic weapon - many immediately suspected Magsam, the sources said.

The stolen parts were soon returned - and photographed by members of the FIU - and Magsam offered a tearful confession to Testa, the sources said.

Being in possession of stolen or unregistered automatic-weapon parts is a violation of the National Firearms Act, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But Magsam was never reported, disciplined or arrested.


Continued at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20110801_Police_concealed_cop_s_gun_crime__sources_say.html

UPDATE

The Pennsylvania State Police are getting involved. Still no sign of the BATFE on this yet.

From http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dncrime/State-Police-to-audit-firearms-unit.html:


State Police to audit firearms unit
MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2011

State Police will conduct the audit of the Police Department’s Firearms Identification Unit that Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey called for after the Daily News raised questions about alleged weapons tampering in the unit.

The People’s Paper reported today that after Officer Anthony Magsam was caught stealing parts from two automatic weapons in the unit, his supervisor, Lt. Vincent Testa agreed to quietly transfer him, according to several sources with knowledge of the incident.

Being in possession of automatic weapons parts is a federal crime punishable up to 10 years in prison.
Testa was removed from the unit last week.

“We’ll have a new look at the case and see what we’ve got,” Ramsey said yesterday. “We’re moving along very quickly. We’ll let the cards fall where they may.”

Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:02:43 PM EDT
<–– My surprised face.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:04:45 PM EDT
Philly pd has m2 carbines that's interesting
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:08:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:09:41 PM EDT
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Philadelphia Field Division
601 Walnut Street, Suite 1000E
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Voice: (215) 446-7800
Fax: (215) 446-7811
Email: PhilDiv@atf.gov
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:11:49 PM EDT
uh huh

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:13:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Fincho:
Philly pd has m2 carbines that's interesting


Registered ones, too. With any luck, some aspiring FFL will make them a deal for some brand new, non transferable whatevers and get the carbines into civilian hands.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:15:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kcr121:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Philadelphia Field Division
601 Walnut Street, Suite 1000E
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Voice: (215) 446-7800
Fax: (215) 446-7811
Email: PhilDiv@atf.gov


This is what the ATF is supposed to do and not export guns to Mexico to serve a political agenda.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:16:07 PM EDT
2003: Magsam joins the department as a patrol officer in Northeast Philadelphia's 15th District.

Feb. 20, 2008: Magsam is transferred to the Firearms Identification Unit in North Philly.

August 2009: Parts from two automatic weapons held by the unit are discovered to have been stolen. Lt. Vincent Testa, the FIU's commanding officer, demands the return of the parts, according to sources.

One day later: An unidentified woman calls FIU to say that the gun parts are in the basement. A tearful Magsam confesses to stealing the parts, according to sources. The sources said that Testa then instructed him to request a transfer to the 15th District by saying that he couldn't handle work in the FIU.

Aug. 27, 2009: Testa instructs the FIU staff to photograph every gun in the unit's possession "in light of recent events."

June 2010: An anonymous tip is sent to Commissioner Charles Ramsey, according to Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn. Ramsey says he forwarded the tip to Internal Affairs.

April: Nearly every member of the FIU unit is interviewed by Internal Affairs.

Friday: After Daily News questions, Ramsey calls for an audit into FIU and transfers Testa out of the unit. The lead Internal Affairs investigator and his captain are replaced.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:17:48 PM EDT
Bacon.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:18:43 PM EDT
How stupid!

Plus, he put other officers in jeopardy. Say they were relying on auto fire and.....opps, no dice.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:21:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Super_Duty_John:
How stupid!

Plus, he put other officers in jeopardy. Say they were relying on auto fire and.....opps, no dice.


I don't know for sure but I thik those are the guns used for ballistic comparison or testing, higly doubt any of those ever see the street even from a window these days.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:23:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Super_Duty_John:
How stupid!

Plus, he put other officers in jeopardy. Say they were relying on auto fire and.....opps, no dice.


More than that. Every investigation involving FIU is now tainted once it lands up in court. Scumbags are going to walk free. Imagine your family member was killed and now the FIU evidence is unusable because of this evidence tampering case.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:23:48 PM EDT
Very isolated incident.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:25:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fincho:
Philly pd has m2 carbines that's interesting

It's a small unit with an enormous task: to examine, study, test-fire and catalog the several thousand firearms that police confiscate from criminals and crime scenes ever year. The unit also processes bullets and other forms of ballistic evidence The FIU also maintains an archive room of 1,200 rifles, handguns and other weapons that firearms examiners use as reference points when they examine new cases.


Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:27:31 PM EDT
My guess is those two automatics are used for testing and are not carried by the officers

Might have been seized at one point from criminals
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:33:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:43:03 PM EDT
He forgot who he OWED,

ask Code4ar about it
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:45:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:46:58 PM EDT
Rather than reporting Magsam, who allegedly committed a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Testa agreed to quietly transfer him to another unit and not to report the theft, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge of the incident.



Bernard Law just lol'd.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:55:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Super_Duty_John:
How stupid!

Plus, he put other officers in jeopardy. Say they were relying on auto fire and.....opps, no dice.


Oh well.
Stupid should hurt.
You refuse to police your own and you wind up in danger yourself.
Sounds like a self solving problem.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 3:59:34 PM EDT
What parts would you steal from an AR-15 that you cannot get at any gun show for $100?
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:00:15 PM EDT
In before Bama says cops are exempt from the NFA.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:01:25 PM EDT
Officer Anthony Magsam:



Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:02:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pighelmet:
Very isolated incident.

The stealing NFA items or the cover up?
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:06:14 PM EDT
Wow, Philly PD fucking up...how highly unusual.
I am shocked, shocked I tell you.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:09:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:22:04 PM EDT
They will all get nothing as far as actual criminal punishment.

They will [if it even goes anywhere] get a "losing job is punishment enough" judgment if it does go anywhere.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 4:30:34 PM EDT
I take comfort in the fact that they're hardest on their own.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 5:50:05 PM EDT
bump for update in OP
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 5:53:34 PM EDT
For a second there I thought that cops name was Anthony Mangasm.

Carry on.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 6:12:28 PM EDT
Just another isolated incident.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 7:42:09 PM EDT
Dummy had a dream job for a firearms enthusiast.

Will justice be done? I doubt it.
Link Posted: 8/1/2011 7:54:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 5:57:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2011 6:01:46 AM EDT by Balista]
It's worse than just stealing parts.

1) FIU tech stole automatic parts and altered other evidence guns.
2) LT covered up the theft.
3) Internal Affairs officers removed from duty for failure to conduct a proper investigation
4) Chief let chase sit until pressure applied from the media.


Now, there are reports of shredding documents in the FIU.

Ramsey also replaced the lead investigator on the case, noting that he believed that the case had lagged and should have been finished six months ago.

Also Friday, he sent Internal Affairs investigators to the unit after witnesses said a civilian who worked for Testa had been shredding documents.


And that the FIU did not examine evidence to get clearance rates down.


But according to numerous sources with knowledge of the unit and internal memos obtained by the Daily News, Testa instructed examiners to skirt the process he had touted publicly.

"It was a lot of smoke and mirrors," said a source with firsthand knowledge of the unit. "He had them ship hundreds of weapons, maybe more, without ever being examined."


It could get interesting with comments like this.


Ramsey said Internal Affairs investigators were looking for specific case numbers of weapons that were supposedly shipped without being examined, a task that will be aided by State Police.



Though Testa wouldn't comment on the numerous allegations against him, his ex-wife, Donna Testa, spoke in his defense.

"There's no way I believe any of the allegations," she said yesterday. "He's a good guy, straight as an arrow.

"Whatever he did, he sent up the chain of command. I think there's something to be said about the people above him.

"They're making him the fall guy."
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 6:02:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Balista:
Originally Posted By Super_Duty_John:
How stupid!

Plus, he put other officers in jeopardy. Say they were relying on auto fire and.....opps, no dice.


More than that. Every investigation involving FIU is now tainted once it lands up in court. Scumbags are going to walk free. Imagine your family member was killed and now the FIU evidence is unusable because of this evidence tampering case.


How many actual scumbags does a dedicated firearms unit deal with? I imagine that as with ATF, they spend more time ferreting out (or manufacturing) regulatory violations than doing anything useful.
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 6:22:49 AM EDT
The FIU is responsible for processing crime scene weapons and spent cartridges.

So if they altered evidence guns and also failed to process evidence in order to keep their backlog stats down; scumbags are going to walk as a result.

Crooked cops let criminals walk.
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 7:09:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Balista:
The FIU is responsible for processing crime scene weapons and spent cartridges.

So if they altered evidence guns and also failed to process evidence in order to keep their backlog stats down; scumbags are going to walk as a result.

Crooked cops let criminals walk.


I can't imagine that in the cases they lied about, that the lies were to the benefit of the defendant. So how many innocent people wound up in prison because they lied and because they lied how many of the guilty got away with it because the FIU pinned it on someone else?
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 7:26:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2011 7:26:39 AM EDT by Balista]
Originally Posted By scottedward58:


I can't imagine that in the cases they lied about, that the lies were to the benefit of the defendant. So how many innocent people wound up in prison because they lied and because they lied how many of the guilty got away with it because the FIU pinned it on someone else?


You didn't read the thread obviously.

They did not lie to benefit the defendants nor pin things on people.

They just did not process firearms used in crimes as they were required to do. These reports were required in court cases to convict bad guys who walked because the DA did not have it to use.


By not test-firing guns, the FIU was potentially missing out on a chance to use their findings on shell casings to solve cases by matching data in the IBIS, sources said.

And waiting to examine a gun that had been directly shipped to City Hall until it was needed for a court case could scuttle cases for cops and prosecutors - especially if examiners ran out of time to check out the weapon.

"It could be the difference between a guilty and not-guilty verdict," said defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. "I've seen it happen. I had a defendant with an aggravated-assault [gun] case, and the prosecutor had requested that the gun be tested.

"He was handed the file at the last minute, and he realized that the gun had never been tested," Peruto said.

The case was later dismissed, he said.


"One of the most significant things that attorneys argue over is the chain of custody of evidence: whose hands were it in, why was it there?" Peruto added.

"If you're scrambling right before a trial to find a weapon, that can bother jurors more than you think."
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 7:43:28 AM EDT
Sounds like par for the course with the Philly PD...
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 8:24:08 AM EDT
FWIW, the local program of "processing" guns was principally concerned with boosting NIBIN submissions. I don't think the local sheriff participates anymore.

Total cost of NIBIN to date (federal costs only; does not include local agency costs of submission): $3.7 Kajillion

Crimes solved using NIBIN.......................................................................................................: None.

If this buffoon was failing to do submissions of that kind, it is highly unlikely that any harm was done.
Link Posted: 8/2/2011 8:35:36 AM EDT
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