SALT LAKE CITY — A licensed armed security guard who has applied to become a Utah police officer three times now faces felony charges after investigators discovered he wasn't allowed to possess guns in the first place.
Jonathan Rashon Richardson, 23, of Eagle Mountain, was also investigated for "stalking multiple females" at Weber State University, according to charging documents.
Richardson was charged Friday in Utah County's 4th District Court with possession, purchase, transfer or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony.
He was also charged with the same crime on June 13 in Weber County's 2nd District Court.
Richardson has a license to be a private armed security guard, according to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
On Feb. 20, Richardson attempted to purchase a handgun in Ogden in preparation to attend Peace Officers Standard and Training, according to charging documents. All police officers in Utah must be certified by that state division before they can officially become an officer. Richardson, who "has a strong desire to become a police officer," has applied to Peace Officers Standard and Training three times, charging documents state, but was denied acceptance.
The gun sale was denied after a background check was conducted. The State Bureau of Investigation then began investigating the attempted purchase, the charges state, because "Richardson is restricted from intentionally or knowingly agreeing, consenting, offering, or arranging to purchase, transferring, possessing, using, or having under his custody or control any firearm."
The gun sale was denied because in 2013, Richardson "was adjudicated in juvenile court for sexual abuse of a child, which had it been committed by an adult would have been a second-degree felony," according to charging documents. The court documents also note that Richardson was convicted of theft in 2016 and shoplifting in 2015.
As the state looked further into Richardson's background, investigators learned that Richardson was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2018 "for a pattern of misconduct and is not eligible for re-enlistment" and has "demonstrated a pattern of harassment toward coworkers at CBI Security and Metro Security," the charge state.
In fact, "due to his excessive use of force," Richardson — who has drawn his weapon at work — was demoted to an "unarmed security position," charging documents state.
In May, Richardson, who is not an employee or student at Weber State University, was reported to the police department on campus for "stalking" several female campus employees, the charges state.
"Richardson has exhibited that he poses a substantial risk to the public's safety through his repeated violent actions and tendencies. Richardson has recently been observed wearing a security guard uniform and in possession of a firearm," according to charging documents.
As of the time the charges were written, investigators noted that Richardson was working as an armed security guard for an unknown company at an unknown place.
On June 20, investigators served a search warrant on Richardson's Eagle Mountain home.
"He was found in possession of a firearm and multiple magazines for it. Defendant knew he was restricted from owning a firearm because he was denied a purchase of one previously, and he had personal contact with a BCI (Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification) official who told him he could not possess a weapon until the year 2023," the charges state.
According to a Utah County Jail report, a loaded gun was found in Richardson's bedroom, another in the center console of his vehicle, and "multiple sets of body armor and other firearms-related items were found in the vehicle and residence belonging to Richardson.
"Richardson has an armed security guard license and currently works as an armed security guard," the report states. State records show he became a state certified security guard on March 20.