Man pleads guilty to federal charge in connection with Lauren McCluskey murder

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A man charged in connection with the gun used to murder University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey pleaded guilty Monday.

Nathan Daniel Vogel was indicted on federal charges related to the straw purchase of a handgun that police said he eventually loaned to the man who shot and killed McCluskey in October 2018.

In a plea agreement, Vogel pleaded guilty to making a false statement during the acquisition of a firearm.

Prosecutors said Vogel’s false statement “was intended or likely to deceive such firearms dealer with the respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm.”  

Prosecutors said on September 8, 2019, Vogel and Sarah Lady went to a Salt Lake City gun store to have Lady purchase a gun for him. Lady filled out a form with her information and indicated that she was the purchaser when Vogel was the actual purchaser. Once outside the store the handgun was given to Vogel.

“We are pleased with the outcome in this case.  Mr. Vogel has taken responsibility for his unlawful conduct and is now a convicted felon.  He is prohibited from possessing a firearm in the future,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said Monday. “As we mentioned when the case was indicted, straw purchases are illegal for a reason.  When a firearm is unlawfully acquired or transferred, it increases the likelihood that the firearm will end up in the wrong hands,” Huber said.  

As a part of the plea agreement, prosecutors suggest Vogel get credit for time served and 36 months of supervised release. Vogel’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 11, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.

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