Guns seized at Nichols' similar to stolen arms

June 17, 1995|By New York Times News Service

At least nine of the weapons stolen from an Arkansas gun dealer in a robbery federal investigators have linked to the two suspects in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building appear similar to guns seized in the search of suspect Terry Nichols' house.

The link to the robbery in Royal, Ark., in November was disclosed in an affidavit released in federal district court in Detroit earlier this week.

In the affidavit, an FBI agent said that a bank safety deposit key taken during the robbery had turned up in the search of Mr. Nichols' Herrington, Kan., home, and that the robbery victim believed that the prime bombing suspect, Timothy McVeigh, may have been involved.

The robbery netted about $40,000 worth of cash, silver bars, gold coins, jewels, military gear and weapons, including 66 rifles and eight handguns.

Federal officials working on the case believe that the bombing may have been financed by robberies.

Mr. Nichols had begun a friendship with Mr. McVeigh in their army days, and they sometimes worked together selling weapons and military paraphernalia on the gun show circuit.

Mr. Nichols' home was searched a few days after the April 19 bombing, which took 168 lives, and he is now in custody charged in the crime.

Of the 33 weapons listed as found in Mr. Nichols' house on the FBI's Evidence Recovery Log, a copy of which has been obtained by the New York Times, six rifles, two shotguns and a pistol appear to be the same models as weapons listed as stolen on the Garland County sheriff's office record of the robbery.

But, since no serial numbers were listed for the stolen weapons, it was not possible to immediately determine if they were the same guns.

Moreover, most of these weapons would be relatively common in gun toting and selling circles.

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