Pacific Grove cop pleads guilty in new federal case
A former Pacific Grove police commander pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing firearms stolen from Monterey Peninsula College, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Since his arrest in March, John Nyunt has faced a number of state and federal charges. The most recent of those were filed last Thursday in the U.S. District Court, the Northern District of California.
According to the complaint, Nyunt knowingly possessed stolen assault rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic pistols between August 2009 and November 2012. The firearms previously belonged to MPC, which had planned to divest them at the closure of the police academy.
On Tuesday, Nyunt pleaded guilty to possessing stolen guns, said Philip Guentert, assistant U.S. attorney. Per the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 30 months in prison to run concurrent to his previous prison commitment.
In 2009, Nyunt was an instructor at the MPC police academy, according to a release. MPC asked Nyunt if the Pacific Grove Police Department would accept the firearms as a donation.
“Knowing that the PGPD did not want the firearms, Nyunt signed a memorandum of understanding with the MPC that falsely stated he was accepting the firearms on PGPD’s behalf,” according to the release.
In actuality, Nyunt wasn’t authorized to forge such an agreement, nor accept firearms for the Police Department.
After MPC released the firearms to him, Nyunt consigned most of them, including 27 Glocks and five Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols, according to the release. The firearms dealer then sold them over time, turning the profit — minus commission — over to Nyunt.
Nyunt later took back five Glocks and personally sold or gave them to other people, according to the release.
Thursday’s charges are long from the first for Nyunt.
The retired Pacific Grove police commander was first arrested in March for threatening to kill his ex-wife, Kristin Newell Nyunt. From there, the charges began to pile on.
In April, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office announced additional charges against Nyunt and Kristin Newell Nyunt, stemming from their business, Nyunt Consulting Investigations Services. The couple opened NCIS in 2010.
Through NCIS, the Nyunts defrauded their victims of thousands of dollars by diverting criminal complaints from the Police Department to the business, said prosecutor Steve Somers. Further, Nyunt would close investigations that implicated his ex-wife as a suspect, Somers said.
He also allowed his ex-wife access to the confidential Police Department system she used to steal numerous individuals’ identities, Somers said.
In April, Nyunt pleaded guilty to second-degree commercial burglary, threatening a witness and being an accessory after the fact in the state case. He was immediately sentenced to three years in prison.
The following month, Nyunt was charged with and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion in U.S. District Court. He was scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 2, but the hearing was postponed until December.
Last week, when the charges were filed he waived his right to an indictment. He offered his plea only four days later.
Now, Nyunt is scheduled to be sentenced in both federal cases in April 2015. If the plea agreement is accepted, he’ll serve 30 months in prison instead of the maximum 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.