Lieutenant Charged with Federal Gun Crimes Resigns from Pasadena Police Department

Published : Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 7:44 PM

Vasken K. Gourdikian, the Pasadena police Lieutenant who was arrested earlier this month on federal charges related to the illegal sales of over 100 firearms, has resigned from the Pasadena Police Department, according to a police spokesman.

Gourdikian came to the Department’s headquarters at 5 p.m. last Thursday and submitted his resignation, Lt. Jason Clawson said.

“He’s no longer a city employee,” Clawson said.

Gourdikian, who was the Adjutant to Police Chief Phillip Sanchez and the Department’s Press Information Officer, fell from grace in February, 2016 after agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided his Sierra Madre home and seized dozens of firearms.

Chief Sanchez immediately placed Gourdikian on paid administrative leave, and there he remained for over a year as the ATF, tight-lipped, continued its investigation of his activities.

Then on March 1, Gourdikian was named by a federal grand jury in a four-count indictment that accused him of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, making false statements on ATF Forms, and possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

He surrendered the next morning to federal authorities.

The federal indictment charged that, from March 2014 through February 2017, Gourdikian sold over 100 firearms without a license. Gourdikian allegedly used his official status as a police officer to purchase firearms that were not available to the general public, and then sold the “off-roster” firearms through third-party transfers to members of the public, according to the indictment.

If convicted of all charges, Gourdikian faces a maximum of 35 years in federal prison.

“He’s committed to fighting the charges against him,” said his attorney, Robert Kalunian, at the hearing.

Chief Sanchez canceled Gourdikian’s pay and launched an internal investigation that same day.

“The allegations, if true, are concerning,” Sanchez said in a statement. “We continue to cooperate with federal authorities and are continuing our Internal Affairs investigation into this matter.”

Three days after Gourdikian was arrested and charged, the City announced that a second police officer is under federal investigation.

The identity of that second officer has never been officially confirmed.