SEATTLE — A man who admitted to selling a gun later used to kill a Seattle police officer pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he routinely made illegal firearm sales.
David Devenny, 69, of Olympia, appeared in U.S. District Court to face one count of dealing firearms without a license and two counts of selling guns to people who weren't allowed to have them.
None of the charges directly related to the slaying of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton on Oct. 31, 2009. Federal officials said that as part of the investigation into that shooting, Devenny told an undercover agent he sold the gun used in the killing.
Devenny reportedly told the agent he didn't know to whom he had sold the gun because he didn't keep records. For that reason, it was not clear whether he sold the gun directly to the suspect in the shooting, Christopher Monfort, or to someone else who then provided the gun to Monfort.
Federal agents believe the sale was made at a Puyallup gun show a week before the killing.
"Illegal gun sales are a threat to our police and our communities," U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. "His conduct hurt law enforcement's ability to track the path of many guns, including the one used to kill Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton."
Devenny appeared in court wearing a blue Ellensburg Rodeo shirt and a bushy, gray handlebar mustache. He declined to comment after the plea hearing.
Brenton was parked in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood after a traffic stop when Monfort drove alongside and opened fire, killing Brenton and grazing the neck of his partner, Officer Brit Sweeney, investigators said.
Monfort has pleaded not guilty; King County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.
They said he was engaged in a "one-man war" against Seattle police. He is also accused of attempted murder in the firebombing of several police vehicles in a maintenance yard.
Police also said he had been preparing to make a last stand at his Tukwila apartment complex when detectives shot, paralyzed and arrested him.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating Devenny in May 2009 after they learned he had recently bought nine guns from a federally licensed dealer in Tacoma, according to a complaint filed in the case.
Undercover agents and informants bought 10 guns from him that October until November 2010. They accused him of not recording the transactions and that in some cases, he sold them to informants who weren't allowed to possess guns because they had felony convictions or domestic violence protection orders against them.
As part of the plea agreement, Devenny agreed to forfeit the guns sold in those undercover deals, as well as 42 guns and $12,850 in cash seized during a search of his home.
He faces up to 10 years at his sentencing Jan. 23.