Wheat Ridge gun dealer, reality TV star sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison

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DENVER — A Wheat Ridge gun dealer and Discovery Channel reality TV show star was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison Thursday.

Richard Wyatt, 54, failed to report $1.1 million in income to the IRS, conspiracy and dealing firearms without a license.

He and his shop Gunsmoke Guns starred in the Discovery Channel TV show, “American Guns.”

He was found guilty on 10 felony counts last year in U.S. District Court, including not reporting income to the IRS.

Court records showed Wyatt surrendered his federal firearms license in 2012 because of violations of federal laws and regulations.

But Wyatt continued to sell guns from his store by working with another gun shop that had a license.

Prosecutors said Wyatt entered sales from his store in a computer system as “miscellaneous” and had customers go to the other store to complete background checks.

In all, 490 guns were involved in the operation. The firearms were ordered forfeited.

“A man has to make a choice, and Wyatt chose wrong,” U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said. “Unless your ambition is to serve a long sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, selling guns illegally and cheating on your taxes are going to be bad choices.”

Wyatt’s lawyer Brian Leedy tried to lower Wyatt’s sentence to 2 1/2 years by arguing that losing his ability to carry guns because of his felony convictions was a severe punishment already.