Cathlamet man charged with illegal gun sales

 

November 25, 2021



Cathlamet resident Trevor Batchelor was arrested on November 17 when the Lower Columbia SWAT team served a search warrant at his home on Columbia Street along with the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and LPD Street Crimes Detectives.

Officers found hundreds of items related to the manufacture of firearms, according to a press release from the Longview Police Department.

Batchelor was transported to Cowlitz County Jail and booked for unlawful manufacture of an untraceable firearm with the intent to sell the untraceable firearm; undetectable or untraceable firearms, knowingly/recklessly allow/aid/facilitate/abet the assembly/manufacture by person ineligible to possess; and failure to use a dealer to facilitate transfer between two parties.

In March of 2018, the ATF received a tip from a citizen who was concerned that Batchelor was dealing firearms without a license. In September of that year, an ATF agent and LPD detectives approached Batchelor and told him that they knew he’d been selling guns for years. They also informed him that he had been caught on camera during an undercover deal in which a friend had been arrested, but he was not. They served him with an official warning to cease his activities or face potential criminal repercussions.


It was later learned that “Batchelor unlawfully sold multiple firearms, including the gun that was used by Brian Butts to kill Cowlitz County Deputy Justin De Rosier on April 13, 2019,”according to the release.

Deputy DeRosier was shot and killed after responding to a disabled vehicle call in Kalama on April 13, 2019, and Butts, who was identified as a suspect, was shot and killed the following day while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement in the Kalama area. Butts, a convicted felon who was unable to lawfully purchase or possess a firearm, was armed with a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol, model SW9VE, serial number DVV6929. It was confirmed by the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory as the weapon used to kill DeRosier.


Further investigation revealed that the Smith and Wesson had been sold to Batchelor in January 2017 at a local gun shop. Batchelor was questioned about the handgun in April 2019 and claimed he sold it to a local pawn shop. A subsequent check of the pawn shop records showed that the handgun had never been there.

Batchelor was interviewed again in August of 2020. When asked about other guns he had purchased, he said he could not remember who he sold them to but admitted to selling firearms without a record check, as required by law.

It was at that time that he was informed that he had sold the gun that was used to kill Deputy DeRosier.

That same summer, the ATF and LPD Street Crimes Unit began working with a source who was aware of Batchelor’s continued unlawful firearm activities. With the source’s assistance, firearms transactions were conducted, including the sale of a ghost gun, a gun without serial numbers. The transaction was conducted without background checks and revealed that Batchelor knew that the purchaser was prohibited from possessing firearms, thus confirming that Batchelor was continuing to conduct unlawful firearms transfers.

Detectives were able to develop probable cause for the November 17 search warrant and to arrest Batchelor for multiple firearms violations.

“ATF takes it’s responsibility for regulating the firearms industry very seriously, and someone knowingly engaging in the firearms business without a license is a danger to our community,” ATF Seattle Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathon Blais said. “The fact that Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier was shot and killed by convicted felon Brian Butts, with a firearm sold by Batchelor, underscores the danger of Batchelor’s actions.”

 

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