Former chief accused of pawning 11 police guns

Posted at 1:42 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-04 20:53:06-04

Former Leadville police chief Michael Leake is accused of pawning about 11 guns that belonged to the department and keeping the money.

The guns allegedly pawned include a Colt AR-15 rifle, several Glock model 22 pistols, a Remington 870 Pump-Action Shotgun, a Remington model 700 Bolt-Action 308 rifle, a Sig Sauer model P220 pistol, a 9mm Smith & Wesson Model 6946 and a Taurus .45-caliber pistol.

Court documents show the weapons were worth thousands of dollars.

MORE | Read the complaint against Leake

MORE | Read the arrest affidavit for Leake

Leake is now charged with 14 felonies, including theft, embezzlement of public property, forgery, and violations of the Pawnbrokers Act.

Violations of the Pawnbrokers Act involve providing false information about who owned the guns.

The pawn shops were primarily in the Denver area and include Fast Cash Pawn and Jewelry, Cash in a Flash and U.S. Pawn.

The thefts occurred between 2012 and 2015, according to Bruce I. Brown, District Attorney for the Fifth Judicial District.

Brown said Leake intended to defraud the city of Leadville and knowingly sold public property to get money for his own personal use.

"All offenses [were] against the peace and dignity of the State of Colorado," Brown stated.

The D.A.'s office said the investigation began Jan. 14 and was requested by Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe.

The Leadville newspaper reported that Leake resigned in December 2015. 

The newspaper later reported that Leake had been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Aurora on Feb. 21, 2015 and spent seven days in the Arapahoe County detention facility in October 2015.

MORE | Police department under investigation over evidence handling and financial improprieties

The PoliceOne website indicates that there are a total of eight officers in the department. 

Leadville is 35 miles north of Buena Vista.