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July 21, 2009

FIVE CHARGED IN AREA ”SMASH AND GRAB” GUN SHOP BURGLARY

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Five Corpus Christi men have been indicted for various federal weapons charges arising from recent “smash and grab” burglary of a local gun store, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Dewey Webb announced today. The six-count indictment was returned under seal by a grand jury on July 16, 2009, and unsealed today following the arrest of three of the defendants. 

Robert Duran, 23, Joe McNabb, 28, Michael Rangel, 30, and brothers, Chad Wesevich, 25, and Jamie Wesevich, 27, were all charged with possessing firearms that were stolen from the Texas Gun Shop, located in Corpus Christi, Texas, on May 4, 2009. Duran and McNabb were also charged with one count of stealing firearms from a federally licensed firearm business. Chad and Jamie Wesevich, and McNabb also face an additional charge of being felons in possession of firearms.

“Firearms are the tools of the trade for many violent criminals and thefts from licensed dealers pose a serious threat to our communities,” Webb said. “ATF will continue to make the investigation of these violations a priority.”

Rangel was arrested last night while McNabb and Duran were arrested this morning without incident by special agents of the ATF and Corpus Christi Police Department officers with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service. McNabb was arrested at his residence, Duran at his girlfriend’s residence and Rangel at his windshield repair business.
 
According to the indictment, on May 4, 2009, 20 firearms were allegedly stolen from the federally licensed business by Duran and McNabb. From May 4, 2009, to June 18, 2009, all of the men are accused of possessing, receiving, concealing, storing, bartering or selling eight of the firearms.

Duran, McNabb and Rangel are expected to make their initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate later today. Both Chad and Jamie Wesevich, who previously arrested on charges arising from this investigation, are in custody and being held without bond. Both are scheduled to be arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian L. Owsley on Wednesday, July 22, 2009.
 
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by ATF and the Corpus Christi Police Department. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.

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