By Rick Langenberg:
A Manitou Springs business owner was arrested last week for multiple firearm violations, with federal charges pending.
According to media reports, William Fee, 48, the owner of Nature of Things Chainsaw Art at 337 Manitou Avenue, was snagged on Nov. 26 by the Colorado Springs Police. Fee was discovered with reportedly 14 guns in his possession. Few other details were released pertaining to the multi-agency investigation.
The arrest was made by the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Community Impact Team, which has taken a stronger stand in the Pikes Peak area in cracking down on violent crime, gang activity and weapons violations. The team also is responsible for keeping tabs on repeat, violent offenders. In the last week, the CSPD’s Community Impact Team made a few key arrests of reported gang members and previous felons, and confiscated about 20 guns.
Acting on inside information, authorities located Fee and his weapons at a residence in the 300 block of Manitou Avenue. “It was huge to be able to take that many guns off the streets,” said Lt. Patricia Feese of the CSPD, according to an article in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette.
Besides the Community Impact Team of the Colorado Springs Police Department, the arrest was facilitated with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets and the CSPD’s SWAT Team and the agency’s Strategic Information Center.
According to authorities, federal charges are pending against Fee because so many agencies were involved in the investigation. He faces felony gun charges, including multiple counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender. According to court records, Fee previously pled guilty to drug possession charges in 1995, 1998 and 2001. He posted a $1,000 bond pertaining to last week’s arrest.
The arrest of the Manitou Springs business owner on weapons charges capped a relatively quiet holiday period in the Ute Pass and Teller County area.