HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal magistrate has ruled that Lake County’s sheriff can’t have his guns back after being indicted in a fraud and bribery case.
A lawyer for John Buncich had filed a petition in U.S. District Court asking for the return of weapons the sheriff surrendered last year when he was charged. The sheriff’s lawyer argued Buncich isn’t charged with a violent crime and needs his guns for his job.
Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry didn’t explain his Wednesday decision.
Buncich and others were named in a multicount indictment Nov. 18 alleging an illegal towing scheme in which the sheriff accepted bribes. Buncich has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
The magistrate earlier released Buncich on bond with the condition he surrender firearms and not possess any while awaiting trial.