Investigation into gun store thefts show new suspect connections - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Investigation into gun store thefts show new suspect connections


Police said there are connections between four men recently arrested in Marathon County. Authorities said the men are all tied to thefts at gun stores and involved in recent crimes.

Police said the investigation into the thefts, uncovered new connections, linking each of the suspects.

Police said the four men weren't only a part of the gun thefts, they were involved in their own separate crimes including a shooting and threats locking down Wausau West High School.

"We've executed search warrants, we've conducted interviews, and we continue to work this case on a regular basis," said Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel.

Hardel said the suspects had a definite motive.

"I would have to say that drugs were clearly a motivating factor for the crime that has been committed," said Hardel.

Early in the investigation, police shared one of the first connections.

Everest Metro Police told Newsline 9 Richi Vue and Christian Peterson had at least two stolen handguns. They also said the suspects drove a stolen truck from a Wausau dealership.

On October 5th, police said Christian Peterson of Wausau was breaking into a vehicle in Eau Claire. Court documents showed, when he refused to drop his gun, police shot and killed him.

Police said Richi Vue shot and killed 20-year-old Lee Xiong in Weston, following a fight over drugs. Everest Metro Police told us he led police on a chase ending in Clark County.

"They're so desperate for that next high, they're so desperate to get that next fix, that they're being irrational," said Hardel.

Police said they searched for Marcos Garza after he threatened Wausau West students with a gun. They went to his home and found Julian Alvarez, Garza's roommate.

Police said they found two stolen handguns in their apartment. After the find, Alvarez was wanted on gun charges. He was on the run for a few weeks, but has since turned himself into authorities.

"These guys are hanging out together, using drugs together, committing crimes together, sharing the stolen properties," said Hardel.

Police said even with the latest arrests, the investigation is just beginning and doesn't stop here.

"The group of names just continues to get larger," said Hardel.

Officials said they are still working on finding nearly 40 more stolen handguns and believe there may be others involved.


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