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A large-scale burglary investigation recovered dozens of stolen firearms, drugs and cash and led to the arrests of six suspects, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s office reported Wednesday.

The case is one of the largest burglary investigations in recent years.

More than 34 guns were recovered that had been stolen in Longview and Olympia starting in November, according to a press release. Other items recovered included body armor, masks, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia. The items were found hidden in woods, homes, a boat, a lawnmower and in local rivers.

The sheriff’s office is not releasing the names of the victims.

The six people arrested include Longview residents Nicholas Wirkkala, Zachary Sweetin, David Novy and Shannon Chandler, Kelso resident Brian Willard and Castle Rock resident Keith Zigler. They face a total of 30 charges related to stolen firearms, two meth delivery charges, two stolen property charges, and individual charges of making false statements, criminal conspiracy, first-degree burglary and identity theft.

The investigation was conducted by detectives Riley McNeal and Lorenzo Gladson.

“Detective Riley McNeal and Lorenzo Gladson have done an outstanding job of solving this case and recovering the victims’ property. They have spent hundreds of hours on this case working days, nights and weekends,” according to Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig.

Look for an expanded report Thursday morning on



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