Gun dealer is sentenced to time in prison Save Email Print
Posted: 6:13 PM Dec 5, 2007
Last Updated: 11:45 PM Dec 5, 2007
Reporter: Stephanie Stang
Email Address: stephanie.stang@wndu.com

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A gun dealer who sold a gun illegally to a man who killed a South Bend Police officer is sentenced to time in prison.

72-year-old Ronald Wedge will spend ten months in prison.

He pleaded guilty to falsifying court documents when he sold a gun to Scott Barnaby. The gun was then used to kill South Bend Police Corporal Nick Polizzotto days later.

Federal prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence claiming Wedge knowingly made mistakes when filling out paperwork looking to make quick cash.

They also say he showed no remorse for the crime and never apologized to the Polizzotto family.

“The bad thing is he will be out in ten months and going back to his family and my nephew has no father anymore because of his actions,” says Tony Polizzotto, Nick’s brother.

The defense asked for a probation sentence claiming Wedge made a one time mistake.

The maximum sentence was 10 years because of the plea agreement.

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Posted by: Cassie (Friend of Nick's) Location: South Bend on Dec 31, 2007 at 11:36 PM
Peggy- You need a life. One that allows for other things rather than violence and bows and arrows. Nick was a wonderful man, and was loved by his family and friends. It is ignorant people like you that make his death even harder than it already is. Please keep your rideculous comments to yourself. Nick was a man that I admired and respected. He was a wonderful friend and neighbor and because of ignorant people like you without any education or common sense, he death is even more difficult. Let his family and friends grieve and remember the wonderful memories. It is my hope that no one ever harms you or your loved ones with your make believe bow and arrows, so that you don't have to experience the grief and frustration. And by the way, the gun dealer was in the wrong for selling the gun. Read your local and federal laws regarding the selling of fire arms. (Not to be found at Wal-Mart, try the library)

Posted by: George Location: Bristol on Dec 21, 2007 at 05:50 PM
Ron Wedge is a filthy coke snorting pervert...we have lived in the same town with him for many years. He is still running loose and shouldn't be...he never once admitted he was in the wrong..he still sits in the local dining establishment and acts like he did nothing wrong...he's should have been thrown in jail a long time ago!

Posted by: Craig Barnaby Location: Georgia on Dec 11, 2007 at 03:21 PM
I agree that we should not be mad at Wedge, we should be mad the the local Law Enforcement who did not check what this guy was doing in the first place. I have to wonder if the police are deflecting the real issue. Where are the ballistic reports from the shooting? This has been requested from SBPD and the Prosecutors office. They claim the case has not been closed. If this is the case why did they say the morning of the shooting my cousin was a cop killer. How do they explain 50 plus bullets on the ground at the Wooden Indian? I am not saying Scott was wrong to buy a gun, although I own several, but let's get the base facts right, then argue what can be done to keep this from happening again. Our family raised money for Nicks family, we could not be any more sorry about their loss. We too have lost someone, it was a senseless situation. The laws need to be changed to force gun sellers to comply, owners to be screened, abd police departments to enforce. SBPD turn over the reports.

Posted by: KK Location: South Bend on Dec 10, 2007 at 04:03 PM
So who is everyone here so angry at? Maybe we should all be contacting our congressmen to change the laws. Complaining about it now isn't going to change anything.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: elkhart on Dec 7, 2007 at 02:47 PM
This is just wrong. Ron Wedge new exactly what he was doing. He has been in the gun business for a very long time. He knew how to fill out the paperwork. All he saw was the cash and that is it. This is very wrong and if i were the Polizzotto family I would sue him for contributing to Nicks Death. His so called "Mistake" lead all of this.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: Elkhart County on Dec 7, 2007 at 12:03 PM
First I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the Polizzotto family. Everything that happened is truley a tragedy. I am an aquaintance of Ron Wedge. I have known him for several years. Ron has admitted that he has made a mistake. He would do anything he could to undo the murder of Officer Polizzotto. He was not on trial for murder. His sentencing was for falsifing documents. Ron is now a convicted felon and will serve his sentence. As he should. He will never be able to posess a gun. As he should not. If one thing positive thing comes out of all of this senseless tragedy, I hope that all legal gun dealers follow the guidelines, and double check all transactions. Being a dealer is a privledge that should be taken very seriously. All responsible Americans have the right to bear arms to protect their country and families, and it would be a tragedy for this to change. Lets all become more responsible Americans.

Posted by: Bob Location: Plymouth on Dec 7, 2007 at 08:39 AM
The gun dealer did not pull the trigger. If he didnt sell the gun to the killer, then the killer would have bought/stole a gun from somewhere else. I think the gun dealer should be tried for the illegal selling of the gun/guns, not just because a cop got shot. Dont the gov. check to make sure the dealers are doing the correct paperwork on a regular basis? My prayers are with the Polizzotto family, and I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: josh Location: goshen on Dec 7, 2007 at 04:47 AM
this all just goes to show, people need to take some self responsibility, because you can't count on the government to do it for you. people need to stop trying to place blame, we need to punish murders not gun owners, let's start training good people to use guns for defense, do you think people would be kicking down doors and robbing people if they knew they would get a face full of lead, from the same people we see every day in the news as victims??

Posted by: rick Location: south bend on Dec 6, 2007 at 10:09 PM
hey charles bad comment, what about all of us non criminals out there that want ammo? that means that we wouldnt have ammo to protect ourself.get a grip criminals are gonna get what ever they want legally or not legally. Dont take away from the law abidding citizens

Posted by: EH Location: MI on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:57 PM
TO AMY BELOW: MY PRAYERS GO TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR NICK. I HAVE A BROTHER-IN-LAW ON THE FORCE IN OKLAHOMA CITY. YOU ARE 100% RIGHT IN THE FACT THAT THIS LOW LIFE GUN DEALER DID NOT DO HIS JOB PROPERLY. HE SHOULD OF BUT HE DIDN'T. HE GOT OFF TOO EASY AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. ALL HE CARED ABOUT WAS MAKING A SALE. THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. WHAT A LOW LIFE HE IS.

Posted by: colt Location: nra on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:45 PM
guns dont kill people People kill people!!

Posted by: Ralph Location: Benton harbor on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:54 PM
Amazing how nobody said a thing about posts like killing the constitutuion,or bartenders and alcohol,or making posssion of bullets illegal,nobody said a squeak about any of it. The most i heard in here is MANY valid points by a PERSON by the name of peggy (That nearly everyone slammed including the family---valid points seem to hit a nerve eh???. When you get old and get hardening of the arteries blame your butcher and all the fat he didnt trim. When you get lung cancer blame the cigarette manufacturers. When you get a corn on your foot blame the highway department for making concrete that is not softt enough. Blame blame blame..Point to yourselves. I saw many valid points here not mentioned -or slammed by anyone just a person named peggy who spoke only the truth and was slammed for it. For this is offer you your NEW world order served up on a platter to you-your all blind right now..soon you will wake up,then it will be too late.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: sb on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:34 PM
A gun dealer who sold a gun (((illegally))) , I have my FFL and you can NOT post dated before the applicant's federal . The ATF and Federal , he will not sale guns again I HOPE.

Posted by: Fellow officer Location: Goshen on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:33 PM
In my opinion, the judges need to start passing along a sentence that fits the crime. Instead of giving them a few days in jail for a violent felony and umpteen years probation (which they usually violate), lets try giving a sentence that would put a fear of crime back into those who chronically make poor choices. This would lighten the case load in the court system and help to relieve the overcrowding in correctional facilities. As I have experienced, there are some who apparently like jail and the comforts therein since they repeatedly commit crimes for the taxi ride in bracelets and a free hotel stay. My prayers are with the Polizzotto family and the families of those heroes who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. God bless you.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: elkhart on Dec 6, 2007 at 05:36 PM
how do you feel about bartenders giving patrons one too many drinks ? then they get in their car and kill entire family. nobody makes them accountable. its the same thing. people kill people.

Posted by: BB Location: SB on Dec 6, 2007 at 05:32 PM
If this had been some other than a cop like one of are family he would not have any thing to worry about....

Posted by: Anonymous Location: ELKHART on Dec 6, 2007 at 04:24 PM
dont worry about it because when he gets out of prison the police dept will continue to make this guys life miserable. they are very vengeful people. police dept, remember he didnt pull the trigger!!!

Posted by: Amy(Nick's Sister) Location: South Carolina on Dec 6, 2007 at 04:15 PM
Thanks to all of you who have supported gun control in our country and neighborhoods. I can not even express how upset I am that some people have no CLUE what they are talking about when they are talking about this case. Please, if you don't know all the facts, (Peggy), you should not post comments. Peggy, the gundealer was at fault!!!!!!!!!!!! If he would have done his job correctly, it might have prevented my brother from being killed!! If all gun dealers did their job according to the guidlines, I will guarantee you that half of the American people would not own a gun.. Did you not read the newspaper? 30 people that he sold guns to, are walking around without him having checked proper background checks and proper ID's to purchase a gun!! He might still be alive... All we wanted was a verbal apology for his actions... Guess that was too much to ask. RIP Nick I love you.........

Posted by: Steve-O on Dec 6, 2007 at 03:45 PM
Its a sad story but what's done is done. You can't blame anyone except the killer. Maybe we should blame the parents for giving birth to the killer.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: Anonymous on Dec 6, 2007 at 02:28 PM
This justice systems STINKS!!!!! PERIOD!!!!....that is why crime is so high....b/c they know that they can get away with it. It is nothing but a slap in the face to this family and a slap on the hands to this gun dealer. Today's society has gone CRAZY. You can't be safe anymore. Time to get better judges in the court systems, otherwise it will be a never ending thing.

Posted by: Svengali Location: Elkhart on Dec 6, 2007 at 02:00 PM
I am pro gun and this guy got off too easy. Give the liberal gun grabbers reasons to live.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: Bristol IN on Dec 6, 2007 at 12:24 PM
I think what people are forgetting is Ron did not pull the trigger. He sold the gun. If it is true that he has other offenses, then yes he should be prosecuted on each of them, not sentenced in this one case based on that. I'd bet that if other dealers records were examined, we would find that this is not the first, last or only time that this has happened, and that he is not the only one guilty of improper documentation. His just happened to be examined because an officer was involved. How many other Joe Q Public shootings could be tied to similar findings if they dug deeply enough? I'm guessing that number would astound all of us.

Posted by: Charles Location: Granger on Dec 6, 2007 at 11:57 AM
I say we stop selling ammo to people that don't have gun permits and remove all the ammo from the shelves of ALL the mega stores. Once the criminals get the gun it's just a quick run for them to a mega store to get all the ammo they want and that is just not right. BAN AMMO!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Carol Location: South Bend on Dec 6, 2007 at 11:25 AM
This is another example of criminals getting away with crime- sure it is the first time he got caught, not the first time he sold guns without doing the right thing. He showed no remorse for the crime he commited-just like most criminals-he thinks HE is the victim here, it is a shame what this country has become. RIP Nick

Posted by: Anonymous Location: elkhart on Dec 6, 2007 at 11:09 AM
lets go back and blame his 4th grade teacher while we are at it. In fact lets go back and prosecute everyone that had anything to do with this man. How about the bar that gave that person one too many drinks and then went out and killed someone, We need to be real careful, when we are asking for this gun dealer to be severely punished. emotions can run very high when these kind of terrible actions happen.

Posted by: craig Location: la grange on Dec 6, 2007 at 10:48 AM
Thats the beauty of living in America Bill........you dont have to come to this website or leave your TV on to here all this, and I'd bet if that (COP) came to your house to help you, you wouldnt think he was stupid!

Posted by: Peggy Location: South bend on Dec 6, 2007 at 10:23 AM
A crossbow can be just as dangerous as a gun Mine can penatrate a car door. You must be confused. Death is death,killing is killing. When i was in school 27 years ago i knew a friend that put a teachers eye out with a PENCIL. He was lucky it didnt penetrate to his brain. Dangerous weapons are all over, some more lethal than guns --trust me!!!!!. You want to pin this on the seller. Take a look around you,in the stores,the malls. Anyone can walk into a walmart or meijer and buy goods/bullets/shotgun shells. Ive even seen plans online how to make a home made shotgun,but i don't do it. Some may not me. Point is ANYTHING IS SLUNG RIGHT CAN BE A LETHAL WEAPON FOR REAL!!!!!!. Does that make the seller responsible? If i buy a pencil from wanda and stab pete with it does that make wanda responsible if she had no idea i was going to stab pete? Come on !!!!!!! JEESH!!! Does that make the seller guilty if it's used in a crime?

Posted by: bill Location: elkhart on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:08 AM
QUIT PUTTING THE BLAME ON THE GUN DEALER FOR KILLING THAT COP THAT GUY HAD MANY GUNS AND COULD HAVE ANY OF THEM IF WERE GOING TO BLAME THE DEALER FOR THIS WHAT ELSE ARE WE GOING TO PASS THE BUCK ON GET KILLED IN A CAR BLAME GM,FORD,ETC ENOUGH IS A ENOUGH ALREADY LETS HERE SOME REAL NEWS THAT IS IMPORTANT I HOPE THIS IS NOT A NEWS STORY FOR ANOTHER YEAR

Posted by: Anonymous Location: elkhart on Dec 6, 2007 at 08:56 AM
people kill people, not gun dealers. end of story.

Posted by: Anonymous Location: mishawaka on Dec 6, 2007 at 08:50 AM
Det. Sgt. Battani said 25 of the 30 didn't include the proper ID records, 22 were post dated before the applicant's federal background check cleared, and 3 had no federal background check information at all. Polizzotto's family says that makes it crystal clear this isn't Wedge's first mistake. "This is the only time he's been caught," said Nick's brother Tony Polizzotto. "It's not the first mistake he's made. It's the first time he's been caught." He needs in jail 10 years!!

Posted by: John Location: Bristol on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:59 AM
Peggy You must be confused? its not about the weapon. its about how it was sold. Do a little reasearch before you open your mouth.

Posted by: BigRedEvil Location: Death Valley on Dec 6, 2007 at 07:45 AM
If the criminal who shot the police officer didnt buy the gun from the dealer, then he would have bought one off the street. Lets just do away with all our Constitutional Rights. That way everyone is safe.

Posted by: Bill Location: South Bend on Dec 5, 2007 at 11:41 PM
This is a great miscarraige of justice and a slap in the face of the Polizzotto family. God Bless them and despite the lack of respect for the police by Judge Miller, the Polizzotto family has the love of the SBPD community.

Posted by: Dan Location: Elkhart on Dec 5, 2007 at 11:32 PM
The sad thing is that this man is still organizing gun shows in Bristol. Go and figure that one out! There was a blurb in the Elkhart Truth last week advertising for the lastest show at the American Legion, and for information to contact Ron Wedge. How does that work?

Posted by: Peggy Location: Mishawaka on Dec 5, 2007 at 09:22 PM
What if it had been a CROSSBOW bought at a local wallmart. No permit needed for those. No background check either. Razor sharp barbed tips Just throw it in the cart. $350.00 Who would be to blame then???? Walmart ???????

Posted by: Tina Location: Mishawaka on Dec 5, 2007 at 09:02 PM
Again no Justice. What do we have to do to get Justice? How many more guns have to be sold to these crimmals and use them to kill our Finest before we get Justice for the Family. We lost one for the old mighty Dollar and No remorse for Nick's family and His Son. Makes me sick. 10 years would be alot better. 10 months and out to live his life but what about Nick? What about his son who has no Father. My heart is with His Family and his son. I'm Sorry The Justice System failed you.

Posted by: Barb Location: South Bend on Dec 5, 2007 at 07:47 PM
Our court system is sending a message loud and clear that you can get by with minimum sentencing for very severe crimes that kill our police officers. This is not the first time, but it should surely be the last. Vote for your judges!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous Location: South Bend on Dec 5, 2007 at 07:27 PM
10 MONTHS???? 10 years is better.

Posted by: Edward Location: Mi on Dec 5, 2007 at 06:37 PM
A Good Father, A Good Man is gone forever. So should this Bad man be. Gone. Not for ten months either. Forever gone! This is a slap in the face to the Polizzotto Family. It wasn't One mistake this criminal has made, just one he was caught at.

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