PROVIDENCE — A federal prosecutor is arguing that a Burrillville man who had stockpiled more than 200 guns would find a way to acquire more firearms if he’s released — because he was also making ghost guns.
Ronald Armand Andruchuk, 37, was arrested on Feb. 24 after firing shots into his neighbors’ yard and over the heads of Burrillville police officers. He’d been under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for buying up masses of guns since July, despite a history of drug use.
And, Andruchuk was allegedly making guns himself. Law enforcement found a ghost gun short-barrel rifle in the closet of the master bedroom and kits, accessories, tools for other firearms under construction.
“Through his possession of the completed ‘Ghost gun’ and his possession of ‘Ghost gun’ parts under construction, the Court can conclude that the defendant has purchased such kits in the past and he knows how to assemble them,” assistant US attorney Sandra Hebert wrote in a filing at US District Court Wednesday.
Rhode Island passed a law in 2020 to prohibit the manufacturing, transfer, purchase or possessing of any plastic, fiberglass or 3-D printed gun, as well as “ghost guns,” untraceable guns and undetectable guns. Ghost guns are firearms without serial numbers required by the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968.
Andruchuk’s lawyer, public defender Kevin Fitzgerald, had previously argued that Andruchuk didn’t present a danger to the neighborhood because law enforcement had seized all of his guns. He had discussed possible “exclusion zones” where a GPS bracelet would make gun stores off limits.
The ghost gun and parts seized at the house “further show that there are no conditions or combination of conditions the Court can fashion which will protect the public and ensure that the defendant does not gain access to firearms,” Hebert wrote.
Andruchuk, who is being held at the Wyatt Detention Facility on federal firearms charges, was to have been released on bail Monday, with some conditions. But US District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. stayed an order from Magistrate Justice Patricia Sullivan for his release, after Hebert filed an appeal.
A hearing on the government’s emergency motion for a stay is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. before McConnell.
Andruchuk, an occasional host of a local far-right YouTube talk show and failed Republican candidate for a House seat, attracted the attention of the ATF when he began buying up scores of firearms over the last several months.
He had been a substitute teacher in Providence and an unlicensed counselor at the DaVinci Center in Cranston, but he told gun dealers that he’d made a lot of money in cryptocurrency, according to court records. And that his new hobby was owning guns.
Andruchuk and his wife moved their three young sons out of Cranston late last fall and into a house at 1746 Tarkiln Road in Burrillville that they bought outright for about $480,000. Soon afterward, neighbors began hearing gunfire at all hours coming from Andruchuk’s property — with rounds searing through neighboring backyards.
When he was arrested last week after shooting rounds from his house, Andruchuk was wearing what he described as his “battle belt,” in which he had four firearms, ammunition, a knife, and methamphetamine.
Burrillville officers and ATF searched Andruchuk’s home and found unsecured firearms almost everywhere in the house. In the basement, there were so many guns that they were piled on top of one another on the floor, on shelves, in open cases, with crates of ammunition everywhere, according to court records and photos.
There were more than 40 guns in the master suite, including some in hidden compartments, guns in the kitchen, guns in the bathroom, a gun behind a wall clock in the main entryway, and an assortment of ammunition throughout the first and second floors.
They seized 211 firearms, worth an estimated $100,000; the “pounds and pounds” of ammunition appeared to total about 10,000 rounds, according to court records.
Andruchuk is being held on charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, because of his alleged drug use; making false statements to purchase firearms; and causing false records to be kept by licensed firearms dealers. Burrillville police are also charging him with shooting in a compact area.
The state Department of Children, Youth, and Families has opened an investigation into the welfare of his 10-year-old son, and 5-year-old twin sons, who were living in the home with unsecured firearms.
Andruchuk had a previous record of illegal drug use, which he denied on applications to buy firearms, according to court records.
The ATF said it found evidence that Andruchuk was still using drugs. In December, he allegedly stashed two handguns and flashlights containing cocaine, oxycodone, and amphetamines in the ceiling of a men’s bathroom at the Tractor Supply Co. in Millbury, Mass.
Andruchuk’s wife, Jennifer, said that he was on Adderall and other medications, according to an affidavit by ATF Special Agent Justin Delaney. Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, but can be addictive if abused.
The executive director at the DaVinci Center in Providence told the Globe that Andruchuk had said that he was on medication for Crohn’s disease.
Down in the basement, amid stacks of firearms, law enforcement found a tin box that held a baggie of orange pills, similar to what they’d seized from the flashlights at the Tractor Supply.
When authorities went to question Andruchuk, he appeared pale, clammy, and under the influence, according to court records.