Federal prosecutors have charged two Peoria men with stealing nearly 100 guns from Farm King in Galesburg and the Tac Shack in Monmouth.
“Too frequently we see the deadly consequences of stolen guns in our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney John Milhiser. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to get guns out of the hands of the wrong people and aggressively prosecute those who put them there.”
According to a federal complaint, Keith Winters, 28, and Miray Smith, 19, drove a stolen truck to the federally licensed gun dealers on two separate days in March and used a brick and a metal pole to break in to the businesses. They allegedly took 39 guns from the Tac Shack and 59 guns from Farm King, drove back to Peoria and divided the guns among them. A third unnamed person allegedly served as a lookout. Another man, Jeremy Howard, 39, is accused of having two stolen guns as a felon.
Winters and Smith remain at large as fugitives, according to federal prosecurtors.
“Investigating thefts of firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees is a top priority of ATF. These crimes not only pose a danger to the licensed dealers, but to the community as a whole. I commend the investigative partnerships and prosecutorial commitment of the Central District of Illinois,” said Chicago Field Division ATF Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones.
If convicted for the offenses stealing from a federal firearms licensee, possession of stolen firearms, and felon in possession of a firearm, the maximum penalty for each count is up to 10 years in prison. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to steal and possess firearms from a federal firearms licensee is five years in prison.
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