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Published: Friday, 12/20/2013 - Updated: 8 months ago

Ex-inmate sentenced for having guns, ammo

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Richard Schmidt, 47, was given a maximum sentence after more than 300,000 rounds of ammunition were found at his home and his business. Richard Schmidt, 47, was given a maximum sentence after more than 300,000 rounds of ammunition were found at his home and his business.
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A Toledo man who stockpiled guns and more than 300,000 rounds of ammunition in his home and sports memorabilia store in Bowling Green was given a maximum sentence Thursday in federal court in Toledo.

U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary sentenced Richard Schmidt, 48, to 71 months in prison on two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and one count each of being a felon in possession of body armor and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Schmidt of 1705 Marlow Rd. was forbidden from ever owning firearms as part of his 13-year-prison sentence for voluntary manslaughter and two counts of felonious assault.

The conviction stems from searches last December by federal agents of Schmidt’s home and Spindletop Sports Zone, a sports and memorabilia store he owned in the Woodland Mall.

Investigators found more than 340,000 rounds of ammunition, 18 guns, and body armor, as well as counterfeit clothing and hats.

Federal agents, who began the investigation of the fake goods from China and Hong Kong in September, 2011, also seized Schmidt’s handwritten notes that contained plans to assassinate religious and cultural groups and directions to the offices of NAACP chapter leaders in Detroit and Lima.

Before learning his sentence, Schmidt said he never intended to carry out the information contained in his hand-written notes.

“It is not something I should have written,” he said.

Judge Zouhary said he was “troubled” by the statements in the writings because they indicated Schmidt “might do something violent.” However, he said he was not sentencing Schmidt for his beliefs.

Schmidt was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 1989 shooting of Tony Torrez and felonious assault for shooting two others near Detroit and Glendale avenues. He was convicted and sent to prison in 1999.

Attorney Edward Bryan, a federal public defender, said the weapons and ammunition were part of his client's efforts to prepare in case of a national emergency, economic collapse, or disaster, and he also kept large amounts of canned food, freeze-dried food, and sandbags for that same purpose.

Schmidt told Judge Zouhary that the nearly 20,000 rounds of the ammunition seized by agents were for 22-caliber guns to hunt small game. However, he acknowledged that he had no interest in hunting wildlife.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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