A Cheyenne man faces up to 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine on allegations he was felon in possession of a firearm and other alleged violations of firearm laws.
Anthony Pierce Unocic, 52, was indicted by a federal grand jury in November on charges that resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
According to court records filed with U.S. District Court, Unocic was indicted for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and for possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Unocic appeared before a federal judge on Nov. 22 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial has been set for Jan. 24.
According to court documents, a Homeland Security agent was notified by the U.S. Customs and Border Facility of an intercepted shipment bound for Cheyenne from China that was found to contain a suspected firearm suppressor.
The package was intended for “Tony Piece,” and the Homeland Security agent directed that the shipment be forwarded to him. The agent also looked into the buyer’s phone number and found that it belonged to Unocic.
The agent also found that the actual resident and owner of the home the package was sent to was a convicted felon and sex offender.
On Oct. 15, the agent observed three vehicles, one of which was registered to Unocic, at the Cheyenne home where the package was to be delivered. Three men, including Unocic, were determined to be living at the address and were all employed at the Veterans Affairs Medical Hospital.
Unocic was not allowed to own a firearm due to a 2017 felony conviction for possession of explosive/incendiary parts, for which he served three years in prison in Colorado, according to court documents.
On Nov. 2, the suspected suppressor was delivered to the Cheyenne home, the mail carrier asked for “Tony Pierce,” and a man matching Unocic’s description identified himself as Pierce. Later in the day, Unocic was observed leaving the home and driving to the VA.
Law enforcement officials spoke with Unocic at the VA and questioned him about the suspected suppressor. Initially, he denied buying it, but admitted to its purchase. However, he said the device was not a suppressor but a “solvent trap.”
Unocic also claimed he did not own any firearms and that there was nothing illegal in his vehicle or at his home.
A search warrant was executed at the home and law enforcement found a firearm, ammunition, a suppressor and suspected narcotics (including heroin and crack cocaine) in one bedroom, which contained many of Unocic’s items, including his Social Security card.
One roommate identified the bedroom as Unocic’s and while he had not seen Unocic have a firearm, he suspected the man of using methamphetamine and heroin.
The firearm, ammunition and suppressor had all been manufactured outside of the United States.