By Chris Caraveo
A California man faces a charge of weapons misconduct after he and a driver were pulled over on an Arizona freeway and found to have nearly 3,000 rounds of ammunition, two high-powered rifles and other items.
Last Wednesday, the FBI Phoenix Field Office released information on the indictment of 30-year-old Ryan Smith Hagel of San Luis Obispo, California.
According to the FBI, Mr. Hagel was indicted Feb. 28 on a charge of being a fugitive from justice in possession of a firearm or ammunition.
Court records show that Mr. Hagel is also a prohibited possessor.
This story originally appeared in the Daily News-Sun March 10 edition, page 4. Subscribe online at dailynewssun.az.newsmemory.com
Traffic Stop and Arrest
Mr. Hagel and a male driver were pulled over Nov. 18, 2017 when a La Paz County Sheriff’s Office deputy conducted a traffic stop along eastbound Interstate 10 near Ehrenberg, about 130 miles west of Goodyear.
Upon initial contact, the men denied having firearms in the vehicle. When the Arizona Department of Public Safety responded to assist, Mr. Hagel admitted to being armed with a pistol while the driver said he had weapons in the vehicle.
In all, authorities recovered seven firearms, 2,889 rounds of ammunition, 60 rifle and handgun magazines and three sets of body armor.
Among the firearms was a Glock handgun in Mr. Hagel’s front waistband.
While the two suspects waited in a second La Paz deputy’s vehicle, they had a conversation that was recorded by the deputy’s body camera equipment. In the recording, Mr. Hagel appeared to say he would have rather had a shootout or committed suicide instead of being in custody.
Court records show Mr. Hagel had a failure to appear arrest warrant out of Maricopa County. The warrant stems from a Scottsdale Police Department report that connected Mr. Hagel to a vehicle theft in 2007.
Maricopa County Superior Court records show Mr. Hagel pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in December 2017.
That month, FBI agents interviewed Jonathan Beaumont, Mr. Hagel’s co-defendant in that case. Mr. Beaumont told authorities he and Mr. Hagel were released from jail at the same time, at which point Mr. Hagel told Mr. Beaumont that he was going to move back to California to avoid prosecution.
Earlier in August, Mr. Hagel reportedly attempted to purchase a rifle in California. However, the dealer received a letter that instructed not to release the firearm to Mr. Hagel as he is a prohibited possessor.
Release and Re-Arrest
Court records appear to indicate Mr. Hagel was released from the La Paz County Jail the same day of his arrest during the traffic stop on Nov. 18.
The FBI in January interviewed an assistant manager at Mr. Hagel’s prior employer. That employee said they and Mr. Hagel were friends and knew each other about five years.
The employee said Mr. Hagel had gotten in trouble in another state but left until time passed so he could return.
The FBI said Mr. Hagel’s alleged possession of the two Glocks and him being a fugitive of justice in possession of a handgun established probable cause that he violated federal law.
A federal court also found Mr. Hagel to be at-risk of fleeing before trial because of previous failure to appear charges, lack of a stable residence and being unemployed.
As a result, authorities re-arrested him in San Luis Obispo on Feb. 21. He is currently in custody on a federal charge.
The FBI does not believe there is an immediate threat stemming from the crimes committed.
However, the FBI is asking the public for any information regarding the allegations against Mr. Hagel.
Contact the FBI Phoenix Field Office at 623-466-1999.
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