PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Federal prosecutors are recommending a Burrillville man who stockpiled more than 200 guns serve more than five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Monday.
Ronald Andruchuk, 38, pleaded guilty to three charges in January: two counts of making false statements “during a firearm purchase” and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
In a sentencing memo filed Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Gendron said “the disturbing nature of the crimes on which Defendant stands convicted cannot be overstated.”
“His obsession with having guns and the reckless manner in which he stored firearms in his home – unsecured and often loaded – shows defendant exhibited little concern for the safety of his wife or two young boys in their home,” Gendron wrote. “Or, in the way he used his firearms, about the safety of his neighbors whose properties were regularly subjected to fusillades of bullets from defendant’s shooting at all hours of the day and night.”
Investigators said Andruchuk lied on an ATF form that gun purchasers are required to fill out which attests, among other things, that the buyer is not a user of marijuana or illegal narcotics. Prosecutors said when he filled out the form, he was addicted to drugs and was later arrested on narcotics charges.
Between July and November 2021 alone, prosecutors said Andruchuk purchased 169 firearms.
“Our state, like the rest of our society, is awash in firearms,” Gendron said. “While lawful and responsible firearm purchase, possession, and use is enshrined in the United States Constitution, Ronald Andruchuk’s criminal conduct in this case does not enjoy that protection.”
Gendron highlighted R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha’s 2022 gun crimes report, which detailed how Rhode Island is “inundated with guns.” The report noted ghost guns, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are being found “in every corner of the state, both rural and urban.”
Prosecutors noted Andruchuk is also facing separate state-level charges in Massachusetts for allegedly bringing two handguns and two flashlights filled with drugs into a Millbury store and hiding them in the drop ceiling of the restroom.
The full recommended sentence from prosecutors is five years and three months in prison, plus three years of supervised release. Prosecutors also recommended mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling and drug testing.
The sentence will ultimately be up to the judge at Monday’s hearing.
Gendron said the arsenal of weapons and ammunition found in Andruchuk’s home is “undoubtedly among the largest that law enforcement has encountered in Rhode Island.”
“Regardless of whether Andruchuk intended to cause any physical injury to himself or others, one need look no further than the bullet-strafed properties of his neighbors or the unfathomable risk his arsenal posed to his children in their own home to understand the danger that Defendant and his arsenal of weapons presented to the community,” Gendron concluded.
Andruchuk’s defense team has not yet filed its own sentencing memo.
Tim White (email@example.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
Steph Machado (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.