Police sting nets stolen handgun, Gogebic County authorities sayAuthorities say undercover officers tricked a teen into turning over a stolen handgun used in a shooting.
By: Melissa Ganje, FOX 21 News
IRONWOOD — Authorities say undercover officers tricked a teen into turning over a stolen handgun used in a shooting.
Zachery Cadeau, 19, of Gogebic County is accused of selling a stolen gun to an undercover police chief. They believe Cadeau’s brother-in-law used the gun in a shooting.
“We are pretty sure from the statements we received from the suspects and the evidence we have that it’s one in the same firearm used in all of the crimes,” said Gogebic County Sheriff Larry Sanders.
Sanders said he believes the gun was stolen this spring and used in an Ironwood Township home invasion. Then on May 22, Sanders said, the same .357 Smith and Wesson was used in a shooting near the Gogebic County Airport after occupants of two vehicles got into a fight.
“He leaned out of his car window and shot at the occupants of the second vehicle,” Sanders said.
“Right off the road there in the gravel, probably between the telephone pole and road there,” said Jim Estola, owner of Rick’s Muffler Center. He was in the shop working when he heard shots fired. “Just three shots went off, kind of in succession and that was it.”
Authorities say Cadeau’s brother-in-law, Moses Brandon, is the person who fired the shots.
“Then we were looking for the firearm that he had used. He said he had thrown it out; we figured out that he was lying and that’s how this sting operation came into being,” said Sanders.
Hurley Police Chief Dan Erspamer went undercover and posed as a drug dealer interested in firearms as part of the sting Monday night. Police say Cadeau sold Erspamer the gun and an ounce of marijuana for $250.
Police say when Cadeau handed the gun over to Erspamer, he told him the gun was “hot as hell” and had been used in two shootings.
Authorities arrested Cadeau later that night.
“It went very, very smoothly,” Sanders said. “Everything worked out the way we planned it: Nobody was injured, we solved some crimes and we got an illegal firearm off the street. If we didn’t have all these agencies working together, it just wouldn’t have happened.”
Cadeau is charged with receiving and concealing a stolen handgun and obstruction of justice. Brandon is charged with assault to do great bodily harm.