Joshua Scarborough Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on October 15, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JOSHUA SCARBOROUGH, a 20-year-old resident of Billings, pled guilty to theft of firearms from a federal licensee. Sentencing is set for January 13, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On February 3, 2009, the DaddyO's Pawn shop at 1116 Central Avenue in Billings was burglarized. The burglary was committed in the early morning hours and was accomplished when a stolen vehicle was driven through the front windows of the store. During the burglary, two firearms were stolen, a Cobra model 380, .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol (s/n CP036057) and a Taurus model 24/7 9mm semi-automatic pistol (s/n TXC58793). DaddyO's Pawn shop is a federally licensed dealer of firearms. Because of this, ATF agents were involved in the early stages of the investigation. Initially, no suspects were identified.
On February 13, 2009, Billings police detectives received an anonymous tip that Joshua Qualls was involved in the DaddyO's Pawn shop burglary. Following this tip, and through witness interviews, Qualls and Joshua Scarborough were identified as the suspects. Witnesses told police that Qualls admitted to them that he and Scarborough were responsible for breaking into DaddyO's pawn shop. With this information, TFO Feuerstein interviewed Qualls on March 12, 2009. Qualls said he and Scarborough were involved in the burglary of DaddyO's Pawn shop on February 2, 2009. Qualls described the events that he could remember, including the theft of a Ford Expedition. Qualls said after they stole the Expedition, he and Scarborough drove two vehicles to the area, parking one. Then Qualls said he got into the Expedition with Scarborough. Qualls said Scarborough drove the Expedition through the front of the store, while Qualls braced himself. Qualls said they left the Expedition in the store and fled on foot to the other vehicle and drove away.
Qualls said he didn't remember everything, due to ingesting methamphetamine, but he did recall handling two firearms afterward. Qualls was unable to tell TFO Feuerstein the location of the two stolen guns and they have not yet been recovered. The business itself was heavily damaged during the burglary and theft.
On February 18, 2009, two males and a female entered Scheels All Sports in Billings. Scheels is a federally licensed firearms dealer. The males approached a glass case containing firearms and managed to open the case. One or both reached in and removed two firearms, later identified as a Beretta 21A .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, serial number DAA455871, and a Magnum Research Micro Eagle .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, serial number ME01426.
The two men escaped without apprehension but store video equipment taped the theft and clearly captured images of the two males, along with a female nearby, during the commission of the theft.
Billings police detectives and ATF coordinated their investigation as it overlapped the ongoing investigation involving the theft of firearms from DaddyO's pawn shop. Investigation and witness statements led to the discovery of Victor Adams' involvement relatively quickly. Several witnesses identified Adams and Scarborough on the video surveillance.
TFO Feuerstein interviewed Adams twice and over the course of the interviews, he provided a full confession and he implicated Scarborough as the other male involved.
Presently, none of the stolen firearms from Scheels or DaddyO's are recovered. However, police recovered photographs of two of them from a cell phone belonging to an associate of the defendants, along with a statement about how and when those pictures were taken.
Adams and Qualls have both entered pleas of guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing.
SCARBOROUGH faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Billings Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.