RIGBY, Idaho (AP) — A former Idaho Falls police officer accused of possessing two guns stolen by a former Idaho Falls prosecutor from the city’s evidence room must stand trial, a judge has ruled.
Todd Ericsson was charged in November with two counts of grand theft by possession of stolen firearms. At a hearing Wednesday, 7th District Judge Michael Kennedy concluded that the state attorney general’s office had provided enough evidence to warrant a trial. An arraignment date for Ericsson has not been set, the attorney general’s office said Thursday. In a written statement issued by Ericsson and his attorney, Ron Swafford, Ericsson said he did not know the guns he bought from Kimball Mason were stolen, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported.
State investigators say that Ericsson, a 22-year police force veteran who quit in June 2003, received two stolen guns from Mason, a former Idaho Falls prosecutor who is now in prison. According to court documents, Ericsson sent those guns across state lines to Utah with a relative. Mason pleaded guilty in 7th District Court to two counts of grand theft and one count of falsifying a public document in April 2006, and was sentenced to one to five years in prison.
In February, he pleaded guilty to two more counts of grand theft and four counts of forgery, and last month was given a second sentence of three to 10 years. An investigator for the attorney general’s office, Scott Smith, and an FBI agent confiscated two guns — a Winchester shotgun and a Springfield Armory 9 mm pistol — from the home of Ericsson’s daughter, Brittany Ericsson, in Salt Lake City on June 14.
According to court documents, Smith interviewed Todd Ericsson the day he confiscated the guns, and Ericsson said he bought the guns from Mason in 1998. However, the attorney general’s office said Ericsson also told investigators he didn’t have the guns on Jan. 17, 2006.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Brittany Ericsson testified that she was holding the guns for her dad because he was attending a funeral in Alaska. Ericsson’s involvement came to light when the Idaho Falls Police Department received an anonymous phone call that led investigators to Brittany Ericsson’s home.