American Guns' Gunsmoke Guns: Did Wyatt family rip off the I.R.S. for years?

gunsmoke guns wyatt family shoot 205x205.jpg
Big photos below.
Update: We've been following a series of surprising incidents involving Gunsmoke Guns, a Wheat Ridge store that served as the setting of American Guns, a reality TV series that was recently canceled by the Discovery Channel; see our previous coverage below.

First, there was a robbery. Then, there was an IRS raid, which some Second Amendment boosters saw as politically motivated. Now, the search warrant affidavit has been unsealed (see it here), and it reveals that the inquiry into the business activities of the Wyatt family, who run Gunsmoke, has been underway for years.

A quick recap. Despite seemingly healthy ratings, American Guns' plug was pulled in December by Discovery executives, with recent examples of horrific gun violence, including the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, appearing to be primary factors in the decision. Then, on February 27, a thief or thieves broke into the shop through a hole in the roof, spiriting away twelve handguns and three rifles; no arrests have been made in the case. And the following week, the shop was briefly closed after I.R.S. agents arrived, armed with a search warrant.

gunsmoke guns rich with george w bush.jpg
Rich Wyatt with a startled-looking President George W. Bush.
That document is now public, and the agent filing it offers a straight-forward statement: "I respectfully submit that there is probable cause to believe that for the period of January 1, 2006 to the present, the following items, which constitute evidence of the commission of, contraband, the fruits of crime, or instrumentalities of violations of Title 26...for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 will be found at the PREMISES."

The section of the affidavit devoted to evidence states that in or around June 2010, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was given information suggesting that Rich Wyatt, family patriarch and manager of Gunsmoke, "unlawfully possessed six...fully automatic weapons" in violation of U.S. law. This allegation caused agents to look more closely into the shop's records, figuratively transforming these weapons into smoking guns.

Shortly thereafter, agents discovered that while the Wyatts -- including wife Renee and kids Kurt and Paige -- have long been thought to own Gunsmoke, a certain Victor Rodriguez is actually the man with his name on the paperwork, although Wyatt told investigators he "did not have a hand in day-to-day operations." Rodriguez subsequently revealed that he'd purchased Gunsmoke from Wyatt in 2005 after Wyatt "went through a serious divorce." At the time, Rodriguez said the business wasn't profitable, but once it returned to the black, he'd agreed to sell it back to Wyatt.

Nonetheless, Wyatt's signature was on sales tax returns for Gunsmoke for most months between January 2008 and October 2011, but not on individual tax returns from the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 -- because he didn't submit any. He did file a 2011 form listing a loss from Gunsmoke of more than $98,000 -- and presenting no other sources of income, despite the fact that the Discovery show was on the air at that time. The affidavit adds that "neither Gunsmoke Inc. nor Gunsmoke Guns Inc. has ever filed Federal Income tax returns."

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Rich visits with Ted Nugent.
Another graphic shows what the agent believes is evidence of severe wage under-reporting. Over a five-year period, the highest paid person on the staff is shown to be Matthew Meece, who brought home a whopping $13,157.15 in 2007. Reported income for Rich and his wife, Renee, was less than $10,000 cumulatively during that stretch. Yet somehow, in 2012, they were able to buy a house in Evergreen for $678,000, with Renee paying $278,000 of that herself. She's also said to have purchased two Florida condominiums for a total of $338,000 despite reported adjusted gross income of $3,491 and $3,390 for the years 2008 and 2009, respectively.

That's not all. The affidavit, which is 35 pages long, lists plenty about a lavish lifestyle and fancy cars that don't jibe with the comparatively tiny amounts of moolah the Wyatts reported to the I.R.S.

U.S. Attorneys Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner declines to comment further about the report, citing the ongoing investigation. But as indicated by the affidavit, life for these reality TV staples appears to have gotten a lot more real.

Look below to see the complete document, followed by our previous coverage.

Gunsmoke Guns Search Warrant Affidavit

Continue for our previous coverage of the Gunsmoke Guns robbery and search.



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74 comments
jasond1011
jasond1011

i always wondered where all the money came from. has the real owner of  of gunsmoke ever been tied to drug activities? aka money laundering?

jim.roth
jim.roth

This guy. What a slimeball. Enjoy prison!

Billy BlackFeather Drexx
Billy BlackFeather Drexx

HAhaa! I jus tlove when ppl this dumb think they can outwit one of the crookedest agencies in the country & get caught. LOL

John MacKenzie
John MacKenzie

Nothing worse than people who boasts themselves as proud patriotic Americans and then scam the country out of paying their fair share of taxes. PATHETIC!

David Alley
David Alley

To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not. Thomas Paine

Chad Kautzer
Chad Kautzer

wait, i thought "law-abiding" always went with gun owner. weren't we supposed to trust legal gun owners because their such upstanding citizens?

Clint Jahn
Clint Jahn

Wyatt had a bad reputation in Denver for ripping off customers who'd bring in pistols for gunsmithing work. I've heard dozens of horror stories about guns being damaged or misplaced, custom parts being removed and replaced with inferior worn out parts, incompetent workmanship, exorbitantly high prices, and defacing customer's guns by engraving them with the shop logo.

Scott R. Shriver
Scott R. Shriver

Huh? This story is over a year old. Did I miss "new" information?

Charlene McCune
Charlene McCune

Good, upstanding, U.S. citizens... and they are probably not the only ones doing it... which means they were also getting the poverty credit... nice... nothing like owning a 600k home, 2 condos work 300k each and getting the poverty credit too...

sumnerv6
sumnerv6

Busch is saying to himself" Who in the hell is this asshole"  "Oh right he is the one with the blonde kid that wants to suck me off,"Hope she swallows"

sumnerv6
sumnerv6

Hey id give her a few bucks, to see her swallow.

sumnerv6
sumnerv6

Mom was Whoreing blondie out, that was keeping the "Gun" shop alive.  That was a front to sell the kids ass.

12daniel7
12daniel7

HUH, let me get this straight, a liberal state, trying to suppress gun legislation, and with IRS and  their scandal with conservative  groups , can anyone say conspiracy?

williambeefcake
williambeefcake

If you ever watched the show Rich Wyatt is a jerk to everyone in the place including his wife. He will just start yelling at people and demean them. I find that type of behavior completely uncallled for. I am not surprised he was ripping off the gub'a'ment. I dislike our government but common man you are a gun manufacture. You don't piss off the liberal commies. Everyone should know that. 

racer-x
racer-x

Hmmm ... and he's ex-law enforcement , it's all coming together now !

lim0ges
lim0ges

Dude his daughters are like 5 years old and 3 years old.  The girl on the show is not his daughter.  She's a cute kid being exploited by her mother who's probably always wanted to be famous.  But I know what you'll say.........who cares, just bring her back............hahahaha.

David Spohn
David Spohn

Who cares, bring back his hot ass daughter!

Mar Marcia
Mar Marcia

bwahahaha.... thugs and theives come in all forms

loobr0ck
loobr0ck

Did you read the affidavit?  Funny in the affidavit how at one point after Wyatt found out the IRS was snooping around,  he called the IRS investigator and told him that, "all inquiries should come through him" after the IRS inspector called the real owner of Gunsmoke, Rodriquez.  Oh yeah, way to go smoothy, just tell the IRS inspector how to do his job.  

Jon_S
Jon_S

I guess this makes them part of Mitt Romney's "takers" instead of "makers" then? Oh wait, they sell guns. I forgot that in modern Tea Party nuttiness anything related to guns is always good, and guns trump all other core values, ethics or morality. They will therefore get a free pass and claims of victimhood from the unhinged gun nuts, as we've already seen in the comments so far.

USPatriot
USPatriot

I would like  to  wait and  understand  all  the issues  surrounding the blog and the  alleged I.R.S. claims.   As an law abiding, tax-paying citizen of this country  I  too have  bee n the victim  of  the I.R.S. and the brute-force strong arm  tactics they  often  employ.  I'm  hope that  Mr.  Wyatt and  his  family  will  come out  of this  mes s with  great  results as our community  needs as  many successful  business as  possible.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Stupid people are stupid people right or left. If you are dumb enough to get caught by the lame state or feds you deserve it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Gun Loons and Reich Wingnuts are notorious anti-government Tax cheats.


Mike Milos
Mike Milos

I bet when the police find the thief that ripped them a few weeks back, they will find that the thief if one of Wyatt family! Just a guess.

MisterAK47
MisterAK47

SINCE the 'Gun Lobby' HAS NO SOLUTION to Colorado Dumbocrats 'Gun-Grabbing' that COINCIDES with RIGGED ELECTIONS in Colorado & Nationwide to ALLOW DEMS to CONTROL OUR 2nd Amendment & other RIGHTS...  zzz http://www.redstate.com/2012/09/04/colorado-counties-have-more-voters-than-people/ zzz

'We the People' SEEKING FREEDOM must NOW adopt a 'Nuclear Option' & BREAK Colorado into 2 States via a BALLOT INITIATIVE - WHERE Foreign Companies WILL NOT COUNT OUR VOTES (like SCYTL was used to have 116% Voters in Colorado in 2012) as not all of us want to LEAVE the Rocky Mtns. for Texas or barren Wyoming = CONTACT 720-940-1458 or 
conservativestatecolorado@yahoo.com

iluv2skico2
iluv2skico2

@Jon_S You have no idea how much "gun nuts" despise this guy.  He's left a trail of BS that stretches back to his days as a LEO in Alma.

Your bigoted remarks about gun owners remind me of the stereotypical vitriol spewed about gays from the right over the last few decades.  I know several gun owners that are liberal Democrats including one that owns several AR-15s.  One is gay, so try to pull your head out of your ass and stop hating.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@USPatriot Thanks for the post, USPatriot. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Appreciate you weighing in.

iluv2skico2
iluv2skico2

@DonkeyHotay OK, then by your lights, congressmen Jessie Jackson Jr and William J. Jefferson are Gun Loons and Reich Wingnuts, eh?  So are Charlie Rangel, who was Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee at the time he got caught cheating on his taxes, or Dan Rostenkowski before him.  And who can forget US Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner who cheated on his taxes until he got caught during his confirmation hearings? Or former Senate Majority Leader turned lobbyist Tom Daschle who got caught with over $100,000 in unreported income?  Step away from the keyboard.  I think your mom is calling you upstairs for breakfast.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57572266/coming-to-auction-jesse-jackson-jr.s-ill-gotten-goods/

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/21/jefferson.search/index.html?_s=PM:POLITICS

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/nyregion/17rangel.html?_r=0

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-01-19/opinions/36820326_1_tax-specialist-commercial-tax-tax-season

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-goldberg3-2009feb03,0,49616.column

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Anyone that makes their own way should be a tax cheat. Only way to even it out.

loobr0ck
loobr0ck

@Mike Milos without question, you are correct sir. Me thinks they may have ripped off an insurance company or two before. Sorry....me knows....

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@lukewhittaker2011 I hope their entire stock is seized and auctioned off.  It'll give some of the customers they've ripped off over the years some satisfaction.

loobr0ck
loobr0ck

Any idea if these people have been arrested yet?  What's the status of the IRS investigation?  Seems quiet for a long time.  Is the store still operating?  Did the Wyatts file 2012 tax returns? 

MisterAK47
MisterAK47

@DonkeyHotay I DON'T USE 'Mind-Altering' drugs like you WEAK Dumbocrat Druggies NEED EVERYDAY to make your miserable lives more bearable !!!

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Sorry dude my country also. Thanks for your service.

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