The vacant former Truetech facility on Elton Street where a firearm shooting range and gun shop are proposed. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Updated 12 p.m.: Riverhead Police have charged three men with burglary after they allegedly stole guns, ammunition, apparel and accessories from 680 Elton Street, where a firearm range and a gun shop is proposed. One of the men was also charged with criminal sale of a weapon.

Riverhead Police responded to Niosi Firearms Development LLC in reference to a prior burglary on Monday at 1:48 p.m., police said in a press release. It was reported to police that two handguns, firearm ammunition, apparel, bags and gun accessories were stolen from within the location, police said.

The charges also imply that one of the men attempted to sell a firearm. 

The detective division was notified and responded to assist with the investigation, which resulted in the arrest of three Riverhead residents — Timothy J. Stark, 28; Michael B. Quinn, 35; and Aaron Vasquez, 28 — and the recovery of the stolen property, police said. All the men were processed on charges and held for arraignment, police said.

Stark was charged with one count of burglary in the second degree; two counts of burglary in the third degree; one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; and one count of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.

Quinn was charged with one count of burglary in the second degree; one count of burglary in the third degree; one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; criminal possession of a Weapon in the third degree; criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree; and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.

Vasquez was charged with one count of burglary in the second degree and one count of burglary in the third degree.

The investigation remains ongoing, police said.  Anyone with additional information in regard to this incident is urged to call the Riverhead Police Department at (631) 727-4500 Ext. 312 or the Crime Hotline at (631)727-3333.  All calls will be kept confidential.

Anthony Niosi, a principal in the proposed firearm facility, said in an interview last week that the facility is not open for business, but the building is storing the display cases and safes from when the business moved out of their location in Westhampton Beach. He said the building is being used as a location to receive orders for people who have purchased firearms, as required by federal law.

Town officials said the facility does not currently have a certificate of occupancy or use permit, which are both required for use of the facility.

The landlord of the vacant commercial building at 680 Elton Street, Signature Partners, is currently in front of the Riverhead Planning Board seeking approval of site plan for site improvements and a change-of-use to allow for the firearm facility to operate. A hearing on the site plan application was adjourned by the planning board during its meeting last Thursday because, a planner said, the planning department and planning board had not been initially aware that Niosi Firearms planned the retail sale of firearms at the building.

Update: This article has been amended post publication with comments from town officials, information from an interview with Anthony Niosi and additional context related to the deliberation of the planning board regarding 680 Elton Street.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]