Former Pelham police chief’s guns in limbo 

  • Edward Fleury listens during his sentencing on Oct. 5, 2017, in Hampden Superior Court. Jerrey Roberts

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

PELHAM — More than 230 guns once stored in former Pelham police chief Edward Fleury’s home still sit in a police evidence locker three years after they were confiscated by authorities. In addition, the ownership of about 100 of those guns is in question.

It has not yet been determined what will happen to all of the guns following Fleury’s September conviction on 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm, according to interviews with those involved with the case. Hampden Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford sentenced Fleury earlier this month to two years probation and a $7,500 fine.

“He has a choice to transfer them to a dealer who can sell them for him or transfer ownership to anyone else,” Pelham Chief Gary Thomann said. “He hasn’t contacted us to say if he wanted to do that or not.”

Fleury’s conditions of probation stipulate that he not possess or use any firearm, rifle or gun and he is not allowed to store any guns in his home. The storage condition was put in place because Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Matthew Thomas said he was concerned about the possibility of Fleury’s wife getting her firearms license back.

“All I wanted to do was take steps that make sure they didn’t go right back to him somehow,” Thomas said. “That was the goal of this prosecution all along — to get the guns away from him.”

Thomann said he had no estimated value on the guns taken from Fleury’s home on Sept. 11, 2014. Around 100 of those guns confiscated and now in evidence storage at the Pelham Police Department are not registered to Fleury, he said.

“That could simply mean whoever he purchased them from didn’t submit the paperwork,” Thomann said. “That is why they have to go to a licensed dealer and then transfer over to someone. When it leaves the dealership, we know who they are registered to.”

Some of those guns could belong to people who gave them to Fleury to put on consignment and then never heard anything back. A Gazette report in September 2015 detailed one Amherst family’s story of giving Fleury 11 vintage pistols and rifles, some from the World War II era, to put on consignment 14 years before the confiscation of guns from his home. The family never learned if the guns were sold or what happened to them.

For others who believe their guns may be in Fleury’s collection, Thomann recommends reaching out to the Pelham Police Department or their own local police department if they wish to file a complaint.

A Hampshire Superior Court jury found Fleury guilty in September of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm, and not guilty on 10 of the same charges.

Eleven of the guilty verdicts were reached on guns police said were found improperly stored in the attic space of Fleury’s home. The final guilty verdict was on a gun found in a study at the home.

Fleury was charged with 22 counts of improperly storing a firearm stemming from a September 2014 search of his home. Police found the guns when they executed a search warrant at Fleury’s home looking for a Glock handgun he allegedly pointed at his friend outside the Belchertown VFW Post in August 2014. Fleury was acquitted by a jury last year on assault charges stemming from the alleged incident.

Following the end of his probation Fleury will still be unable to own a firearm because of his convicted felon status. He also is unable to sell firearm parts.

A message left on a number listed for Fleury in court documents went unreturned.

Thomann said police are required to keep confiscated property for five years following the conclusion of a court case but can have an outside company store evidence at the cost of the person whose property was confiscated. He said police would be talking to Fleury soon to have him make a decision.

On Wednesday, he said no contact had been made by either party.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.