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Retired Aurora officer sentenced to jail for buying rifle for pipe bomber

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 16:17:20-05

DENVER – A retired Aurora Police Department sergeant who bought an AR-15 for a felon who was living in his basement and who set off pipe bombs in Aurora was sentenced to three months in jail.

Curtiss Christensen, 70, was sentenced to 90 days in jail plus four years of supervised probation, as well as 75 hours of community service by an Arapahoe County District Court judge.

Christensen had purchased an AR-15 for a man named Scott Campbell, who was living in his basement at the time of the purchase, before Campbell set off pipe bombs in late 2020 and early 2021.

Campbell’s bombs, set off on Christmas 2020 and Jan. 7, 2021, sent shrapnel into three nearby homes. When police were investigating the bombings, they found out about the rifle that had been bought by Christensen for Campbell, and also discovered he had helped Campbell hide evidence, according to prosecutors.

The mug shot for Curtiss Christensen, 70.

Christensen was originally charged with being an accessory to first-degree arson, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful purchase of firearms.

But in December, he pleaded guilty to one count of straw purchase of a firearm, a class 4 felony, and the other counts were dismissed.

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Christensen to prison, and family members of a woman who was inside one of the homes the shrapnel hit testified at his sentencing.

“You have become one of the dangers you and other law enforcement officers have taken oaths to protect us against,” Judge Ryan Stuart told Christensen at sentencing. “You made the decision to arm a violent man with a weapon. Your actions in this one case erased an entire career of public service.”

Campbell pleaded guilty in January to one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.