Monterey County

Ex-Pacific Grove police commander sentenced to prison

SAN JOSE, Calif. - UPDATE 4/8/2015: Former Pacific Grove Police Commander John Nyunt was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal gun charges.  In December, Nyunt admitted to stealing assault rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic pistols from the Monterey Peninsula College.

Nyunt told the college the guns would go to the pacific grove police department, and instead sold them on consignment. He was also ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution fees, including $1,800 to the police department.

PREVIOUS STORY: Former Pacific Grove police commander John Nyunt pleaded guilty Tuesday to two federal criminal charges of wire fraud and extortion.

That's according to San Jose-based U.S. attorney Philip Guentert.

Nyunt was charged with extorting money and information from a crime victim by using his position within the police department and unlawfully providing access to sensitive police databases, according to the federal complaint.

Specifically, prosecutors said, Nyunt admitted he told a victim who came to the police department to report a crime that the department wouldn't investigate her complaint. Instead, Nyunt instructed her to seek the assistance of a private investigative agency -- the one that he himself ran with another person.

Nyunt and his accomplice pretended to investigate the victim's complaint and also pretended to provide the victim with security in the form of off-duty police officers, Guentert said. The victim paid $10,000 for services never rendered.

Nyunt pleaded guilty last month to multiple state charges in Monterey County Superior Court, including dissuading a person from reporting a crime by threats of violence, being an accessory after the fact to theft and burglary and being an accomplice to the burglary of a business. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Those charges stem from allegations that Nyunt's wife was committing massive identity fraud and that he knew about it and tried to cover it up. Charges are still pending against Kristin Nyunt.

Guentert said Nyunt will be sentenced on the federal charges on Sept. 2. The maximum penalty for each charge is 20 years in prison. Under a plea agreement, Nyunt is expected to receive two years in federal prison, to run concurrent with his state prison sentence.

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