|Bruce Lee Jennings|
Back in the day, Bruce Jennings
was a famous gunsmith whose Costa Mesa-based company, Bryco Arms
, was one of the so-called "Ring of Fire" companies that built cheap "Saturday Night Special" handguns that were often used by criminals during the cocaine-fueled homicide wave that plagued America's inner cities in the 1980s.
That all ended when one of the guns, which were notorious for jamming, made by Jennings accidentally discharged in the mid-1990s and left a 7-year-old in a wheelchair. A jury awarded the victim, Brandon Maxfield, $24 million, and Jennings filed for bankruptcy. Wyn Hilty, the Weekly's then managing editor, wrote about Bryco for one of the first issues of our brand-new paper, but unfortunately it's not available online.
According to a Sept. 18 story that ran on WFTV
's website, it appears that Jennings got caught up in a sting operation and sent some underage porn videos to undercover agents. The feds allegedly found more videos at his house.
"According to the criminal complaint, when investigators first showed up, Jennings initially denied that he any intentional involvement in child porn through his computer," the story states. "The complaint said that he later admitted he transmitted child pornography."
Here's where Jennings' story gets really pathological:
"Agents say Jennings even admitted he knew the children in the videos were 'real children who had been sexually abused.' But, the report said, he still said he 'did not feel guilty' about downloading and viewing child pornography."
It's hard to imagine a more pathological comment than that, even coming from a chester, although maybe it's not such a surprise given that Jennings used to make his living creating criminal-favored weapons that ended countless lives.