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Man sentenced for 'gun factory' inside Pacific Beach apartment and selling homemade guns

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 21:25:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple gun charges in a Tucson, Arizona federal court.

Joshua Pratchard came to the FBI's attention after a short-lived attempt to join what prosecutors call a border militia group in Arizona in January 2018.

The group kicked Pratchard out after just a few days, saying he did not want to follow their rules, including repeatedly asking to get physical with detainees and demanding to put a silencer on his weapon. He was also deemed eager for confrontations with criminal bandits known as "rip crews" who seek to steal drug loads in the desert.

Pratchard continued to be involved in activity in Arizona, leading to contact with a member of the group who was a FBI informant. Pratchard revealed that he manufactured and sold weapons.

The informant reported this to the FBI, which led to an investigation. Eventually, Pratchard was arrested after selling firearms to the informant.

A search of Pratchard's apartment in Pacific Beach led to the discovery of a "gun factory." Along with the machinery to build firearms and bullets, agents found four homemade guns and enough gunpowder for 9,000 rounds of ammunition.

The FBI investigation also discovered Pratchard's criminal history, which includes a conviction for having ecstasy when he was serving in the Marine Corps, and a 2007 felony assault conviction.

Although he has been sentenced on the gun charges, Pratchard's legal trouble may not be over.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors made multiple references to a non-profit organization Pratchard ran in San Diego which could see fraud charges filed in the future.

10News uncovered Pratchard's involvement leading a charity known as "Second Chance Fields," which is dedicated to rebuilding or refurbishing athletic fields at San Diego schools. His website touts to significant projects, including renovation of the baseball field at Mission Bay High School and a large-scale renovation of football and lacrosse facilities at Del Norte High School. For the latter project, Pratchard recruited former San Diego Padres star Adrian Gonzalez, who appeared at a press conference with Pratchard at the school and whose foundation donated $50,000, according to the Second Chance Fields website.

10News asked the FBI if there was an investigation underway into Pratchard and Second Chance Fields. A spokesperson responded that the Bureau could not confirm nor deny an investigation. 1

0News also left a message for Pratchard's attorney in Tucson. She did not call back as of air time.