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Peoria man pleads guilty to Bloomington gun store burglary

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A 20-year-old Peoria man has admitted stealing 25 guns from a Bloomington store. The guilty pleas were for burglary to a federally licensed firearms dealer and possession of stolen firearms.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that DaJuan Edwards-Melton had help breaking into Smiley's Sports Shop from two juvenile boys. A third juvenile, a girl, was the getaway driver on Dec. 12. Edwards-Melton faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced June 16.

Prosecutors said Edwards-Melton had a 9-millimeter pistol taken from Smiley's when Peoria police made a traffic stop. Investigators also found two Smiley's Sport Shop gun tags in an alley in the 2200 block of North University Street in Peoria.

The Bloomington and Peoria Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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