DENVER - An 18-year-old accused of stealing firearms from two Denver-area stores late last year posted selfies with guns on Facebook and wrote about shooting police officers during conversations with friends on messenger, according to court documents.
Viet Trinh is charged with two counts of possessing stolen firearms, two counts of conspiracy to steal firearms and two counts of theft of firearms. He was arrested on Friday and appeared in federal court in Denver on Wednesday morning.
During an interview with special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives earlier this month, Trinh admitted to stealing a car and serving as the getaway driver while four people used a rock to break into the Shooter Ready gun store at 625 E. 70th Ave. during the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2016.
According to a federal arrest affidavit, Trinh told investigators they made off with around 30 firearms, which were divided among the co-conspirators.
An informant said when Trinh returned to a home in the 1300 block of King Street, he said they were “poled up.” Trinh and the other people in the crime ring refer to guns as “poles,” according to court documents.
In a Facebook message from that same day later obtained by federal investigators, Trinh told a friend he was in “Denver hella poled up.” The next day, according to the arrest affidavit, he sent a message asking someone if they “know anyone that wants to [buy] a baby .40? $300.”
He then sent a photo of himself pointing a pistol at the camera.
Federal investigators say Trinh, who used the name “Kyle Zimmerman” on Facebook, used another photo of himself aiming a gun at the camera as his profile picture.
Trinh also admitted to federal investigators that he helped steal four rifles from Parker Arms at 3825 Kendall St. in Wheat Ridge on Dec. 17, 2016, according to the affidavit.
He refused to “snitch” on anyone else involved in the burglaries, the affidavit says, but said he didn’t know what happened to the rifles.
Trinh told federal agents that he sold one of the firearms he got from the Nov. 10 burglary for $375, and that the others were systematically stolen from him, according to the affidavit. He kept one 9mm pistol for himself.
At point when federal agents tried to get Trinh to divulge more information, the affidavit says he refused, saying “I feel like I’m snitchin’ on myself.”
He later became agitated and shouted “You want me to snitch? I ain’t gonna snitch. You might as well put handcuffs on me now.”
According to the affidavit, that’s when officers placed him into handcuffs, and Trinh “made many derogatory statements to [special agents]” and told them he wished “they just shot him.”
In a Facebook message to a female friend on Dec. 24, investigators say Trinh wrote: “… I feel so helpless rn (right now) idk (I don't know) what to do I feel like imam jus start shooting at a cop jus so I can get locked up …”
If convicted, Trinh faces up to 10 years in prison for each count and a $250,000 fine.
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