Feds say they caught up with Central Illinois gunshop smash and grab artists who stole dozens of firearms since Christmas. They hit shops in five counties. Until their good fortune ran out.
Of course, wearing distinctive clothing didn’t exactly make it hard to find these clowns.
From the US Attorney’s Office:
Two Peoria Men Arrested, Charged in Five-County Burglary Spree of Licensed Firearms Dealers
|PEORIA, Ill. – Two Peoria, Ill., men appeared in federal court in Peoria today following their arrests on charges that allege they have stolen 53 guns from Central Illinois licensed firearms dealers since Christmas Day 2019. Terrence M. Daniels, 19, and James D. Woolfolk, 20, both of Peoria, are charged in the burglary of six licensed firearms dealers in five counties.
As alleged in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Daniels and Woolfolk burglarized and stole guns from licensed firearms dealers in the Illinois counties of Tazewell, Woodford, Logan, McLean, and Bureau, as follows:
The affidavit alleges that in each instance, officers arrived to find the front door glass broken and firearms removed from broken glass display cases. In several of the instances, agents reviewed surveillance footage of the burglaries.
“A top priority of the Department of Justice is keeping our communities safe from gun violence,” stated U.S. Attorney John Milhiser. “Stolen guns frequently get into the hands of dangerous criminals, resulting in deadly consequences. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively prosecute those who help put guns in the wrong hands.”
Both men were arrested on March 4, and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley in Peoria. Woolfolk waived a detention hearing and was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Daniels was also detained pending a detention hearing scheduled on Monday, March 9.
The charges are the result of investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department with assistance from the East Peoria; Pekin; El Paso; LeRoy; Lincoln; and, Spring Valley Police Departments.
If convicted, for the offenses of stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee and possession of stolen firearms, the maximum statutory penalty for each count is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to steal and possess firearms from a federal firearms licensee is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is brought as part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, and local authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by ATF when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.