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Man admits he stole forklift and firearms

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A 30-year-old man has pleaded guilty to stealing a forklift last October and using it to break through the wall of a Lehi business to steal 26 firearms.

Ryan Ferguson entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court Thursday to one count of possessing a stolen firearm by a convicted felon. When sentenced on April 3, Ferguson could face up to 10 years in federal prison. The plea bargain spares Ferguson the possibility of 20 years in prison.

According to Lehi police, Ferguson stole a forklift from a Utah Department of Transportation construction site and used it to break through the wall of a heating and cooling company on Oct. 2, 2005. Police say Ferguson then used the forklift to haul out a safe containing 26 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Police used a cell phone that Ferguson accidentally left at the scene to track him down to his home in Sandy.

"Why did you need 26 guns?" asked U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, but Ferguson's defense attorney stopped him before he could answer, stating she was concerned that his statement could affect his sentencing.