News and Press Releases

BELLEVILLE MAN SENTENCED ON THEFT / WEAPONS CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2011

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced
today that on January 28, 2011, David M. Hoffarth age 19, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced in
federal district court, East St. Louis, Illinois, following his plea of guilty to a two-count Indictment
charging him with: (1) Stealing Firearms from a Federally-Licensed Dealer, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Section 922(u); and (2) Felon in Possession of a Firearm, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).

Hoffarth was sentenced to 90 months’ imprisonment, 3 years’ supervised release, and a $200
special assessment; fine was waived. The violation took place in Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois,
and elsewhere.

The maximum penalties that can be imposed for this violation are 10 years’ imprisonment, a
$250,000 fine, or both, 3 years’ supervised release, and a $100 special assessment per count. A Factual
Stipulation filed with the court states:
1. On or about March 30, 2010, at approximately 1:00 a.m.Defendant David M. Hoffarth
broke into the premises of Curt Smith Sporting Goods, 13 N. Church Street, Belleville, St. Clair
County, Southern District of Illinois. He then did knowingly steal and take away from said
premises [fifteen] firearms.
2. The premises were the premises of a person who is licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to engage in the business of dealing in firearms. Each of said
firearms was a firearm in the licensee’s business inventory.
3. Each of said firearms had been manufactured outside the state of Illinois and had
therefore been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce prior to March 30,
2010.
4. Police responded to an audible alarm at Curt Smith Sporting Goods and saw
Defendant leave the premises; they then pursued and arrested Defendant, who had several of said
firearms on his person when arrested. The firearms not on Defendant’s person were found near
the premises.
5. The firearms have been returned to Curt Smith Sporting Goods since the time of
Defendant’s arrest.
6. Prior to March 30, 2010, Defendant had been convicted of the felony charged in the
Indictment – namely, Burglary, in violation of Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 720, Section
5/19-1(a), in St. Clair County , Illinois, Case No. 09-CF-737, on or about December 17, 2009.


An earlier Criminal Complaint filed in the case stated as follows:
1. Defendant David M. Hoffarth, Jr. (hereinafter, “Hoffarth’), was convicted of a felony
– namely, Burglary, in violation of Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 720, Section 5/19-1(a),
in St. Clair County , Illinois, Case No. 09-CF-737, on or about December 17, 2009. Court
records indicate that Hoffarth was sentenced to two years’ probation in said case. Court records
also indicate that Hoffarth’s probation was revoked on March 26, 2010, at which time Hoffarth
was sentenced to 9 days time served.
2. On March 30, 2010, at approximately 1:06 a.m., members of the Belleville Police
Department (Officers Harris and Hagemann) responded to an audible burglar alarm at the
business of Curt Smith Sporting Goods, located at 13 N. Church Street, Belleville, Illinois, which
is the business premises of a Federal Firearms Licensee having a valid Federal Firearms License,
Number 3-37-163-01-1B-34845, which license is active and has an expiration date of February
1, 2011.
3. The officers heard noises from inside the premises indicating that someone was inside
the premises. Officer Harris then saw an individual (later identified as Hoffart) fleeing from near
the premises, armed with what appeared to be a black, semi-automatic handgun in the
individual’s left hand.
4. The officers pursued Hoffarth to 300 East B Street, where Hoffarth attempted to hide
under a porch. Officer Harris told Hoffarth to throw down his gun and come out where Officer
Harris could see him. Hoffarth replied, “The only way I’m putting this gun down is if you kill
me.”
5. Other officers approached. Officer Hageman saw Hoffarth point his gun in the
direction of Lt. Frame and a St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputy.
6. Officer Harris tried to reason with Hoffarth, asking why Hoffarth wanted to die.
Hoffarth replied that his girlfriend of two weeks had just broken up with him and he did not want
to live anymore. Hoffarth stated that his name was “Crazy Dave.”
7. Hoffarth again stated that he would not give up his gun and that Officer Harris would
have to kill him. However, he then asked if Officer Harris would send him to a hospital for
psychiatric help. Officer Harris stated that he would do what he could for Hoffarth.
8. Hoffarth stated that he would not put his gun away until Officer Harris put his away.
Officer Harris holstered his gun and snapped the thumb strap shut. Hoffarth then came out,
holding the black semi-automatic handgun; Officer Harris could see that it was a Sig Sauer.
9. Hoffarth was also holding a beer can. Officer Harris told him to put up his hands,
whereupon Hoffarth replied, “No, I’m going to finish my beer first.” Hoffarth took a drink, then
threw the can in the yard. Hoffarth then put his hands over his head.
10. Officer Harris told Hoffarth to lie down and place his hands behind his back, but
Hoffarth backed away and did not follow Officer Harris’s directions. Officer Harris saw several
more guns on the ground near Hoffarth. Hoffarth again refused to comply with the officer’s
directions. Officer Harris then shot Hoffarth with a Taser, but Hoffarth remained standing.
Officer Hageman then shot Hoffarth with a Taser, whereupon Hoffarth fell to the ground and was
taken into custody.
11. Several firearms, each having a sales tag attached to it, were recovered by police
from defendant’s person. Several other firearms, each having a sales tag attached to it, were
recovered by police between Curt Smith Sporting Goods and the place at which Hoffarth was
arrested.
12. Further investigation revealed that Hoffarth entered and exited Curt Smith Sporting
Goods via a window on the roof of Curt Smith Sporting Goods. Police recovered other firearms
on the roof of Curt Smith Sporting Goods.
13. In all, fifteen firearms were recovered by police in Defendant’s physical possession,
near the place of Defendant’s arrest, on the roof of Curt Smith Sporting Goods, or in the path that
Defendant followed from Curt Smith Sporting Goods to the point of his arrest.
14. The Federal Firearms Licensee reviewed his inventory following the theft and
completed an ATF Form 3310.11, “Federal Firearms Licensee Firearms Inventory Theft/Loss
Report,” (attached hereto as Ex. 1), which I have received and reviewed. Each of the firearms
listed on said report corresponds with one of the firearms seized by the police.

The case was investigated by agents of the Belleville Police Department and the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Stephen B. Clark.

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Stay Connected: Visit us on Twitter
Victim Witness

Click here for information in multiple victim cases.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Our nation-wide commitment to reducing gun crime in America.

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.