Gun show reality TV star sent to halfway house

Posted at 12:15 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 14:15:30-05

The attorney for a reality TV star and gun shop operator pleaded not guilty for his client Tuesday.

Richard Wyatt, star of "American Guns" on the Discovery Channel and operator of Gunsmoke firearms store, was arrested last week on accusations of illegally selling firearms and failing to report over $1.1 million in income to the IRS, prosecutors said.

Wyatt was arraigned Tuesday. The judge released Wyatt on a $25,000 unsecured bond and ordered him be sent to a halfway house. 

Wyatt was indicted by a federal Grand Jury last Tuesday on two counts of conspiracy, three counts of dealing in firearms without a license, one count of filing a false tax return and seven counts of failure to file a tax return.

Prosecutors said in April 2012, the defendant surrendered his Federal Firearms License due to his violations of federal laws and regulations.  However, prosecutors say Wyatt continued to operate Gunsmoke as a retail firearms store that also offered gunsmithing services and submitted false paperwork to the government to hide that another company, with a valid license, was acting as a straw licensee for Gunsmoke.

Prosecutors accuse Wyatt of directing Gunsmoke employees to enter firearm sales in Gunsmoke’s computer point of sales software system as "miscellaneous” sales rather than firearm sales. 

"In addition to the alleged firearms violations, Wyatt failed to pay personal income tax in years 2009, when he made approximately $290,000, in 2010 when he made approximately $123,000, and in 2012, when he made approximately $689,000," prosecutors said. "Further, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Wyatt failed to pay corporate taxes.  In 2012, Wyatt willfully filed a tax return he knew to be false, stating that he lost money, when in fact he made at least $184,000 that he failed to disclose."

Wyatt's shop was searched by the IRS in March of 2013.

It was searched by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in March 2015.

Wyatt was arrested in April 2015 on charges of theft from an at-risk adult. The victim in the case had consigned a rare and antique gun collection with Wyatt in 2013. Repeated efforts by the victim to recover several of the weapons had failed, police said in a news release.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.