Peoria man pleads guilty to stealing guns from federally licensed Tazewell County firearms dealer

PEORIA (WEEK) – A Peoria man pleaded guilty on Friday, including conspiracy to steal guns from a state gun licensee, break into a state gun licensee, possession of stolen firearms, and possession of firearms by a felon.

Zabian Hatcher, 21 on the 2600 block of Montanna Avenue in Peoria, admitted his involvement in court in the theft of nine firearms – including a Colt 9mm AR15 rifle with a high-capacity magazine – during a break into a gun store in the Fall of 2020. According to a statement from the Ministry of Justice.

For the offense of conspiracy to steal a licensed arms dealer, the legal penalty is up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $ 250,000, and three years of supervised release from prison.

The offenses of theft from a licensed arms dealer, possession of stolen firearms, and possession of a firearm by a felon each carry a statutory sentence of up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $ 250,000, and three years of supervised release in prison .

During the amendment hearing, the government stated that at around 2:00 am on October 29, 2020, Creve Coeur police officers were dispatched to a weapons store called the Thompson Trading Company after a window was broken during a break -in looking at footage of the Security camera of the store was recorded. Six people were involved in the break-in, three of whom were videotaped while the firearms were stolen and three others were left outside the store.

The government said the people then fled an East Peoria police officer in a getaway car until the car hit a curb and was damaged. Six of the inmates fled, but a seventh person, the driver, remained in the vehicle and was taken into custody. Two firearms stolen by the Thompson Trading Company were seized and two other firearms from the break-in were found in a nearby driveway. Zabian Hatcher’s ID card was found in the car.

The government found that shortly after investigators found out that an Uber driver picked up five of the six men involved in the break-in and dropped them off at homes in North Peoria.

According to the government’s testimony in court, Hatcher admitted that investigators were involved in the break-in by breaking into the Thompson Trading Company and stealing firearms. At the time of the break-in and possession of the guns, Hatcher had previously been found guilty of an offense punishable by more than a year in prison.

Hatcher remains in the care of the US Marshals Service until his conviction.

Three other suspects of the conspiracy – Tyruis Bramlett, Deondra Proctor and Devin Price – have also pleaded guilty. According to the DOJ, all of them have either been convicted or hearings are planned for the conviction.

The Justice Department also says charges against a fifth person, Jaquon Timothy, are still pending.

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