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Nov. 19, 2009

BURGLARY OF GUN SHOP BUYS LONG PRISON TERMS FOR FIVE AREA MEN

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Five Corpus Christi men have been sentenced to federal prison terms for stealing firearms from a federally licensed firearms business or possessing the stolen firearms, United States Attorney Tim Johnson, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Dewey Webb and Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) Chief Troy Riggs announced today.

United States District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed down the sentences at a hearing this afternoon. The five men each pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2009, to federal firearms charges admitting their part in a burglary of The Texas Gun Shop located in Corpus Christi and the unlawful possession of stolen firearms. 

Joe McNabb, 28, Michael Rangel, 31, and Chad Wesevich, 26, pleaded guilty to and were each convicted of possessing firearms that were stolen from the Texas Gun Shop on May 4, 2009. McNabb was also convicted along with Robert Duran, 23, of stealing the firearms from the federally licensed firearm business. Chad Wesevich, his brother, Jamie Wesevich, 27, and McNabb, each of whom have prior felony convictions and are prohibited by federal law from even possessing firearms, were also convicted of being felons in possession of firearms.

Through a joint investigation initiated by the ATF and CCPD officers, all five men were identified, charged and arrested. McNabb and Duran burglarized the Texas Gun Shop on May 4, 2009, after McNabb drove a stolen vehicle through the front of the business. The two men stole 20 firearms from the business. On May 5, 2009, Duran contacted Rangel, who assisted in selling some of the stolen firearms to the Wesevich brothers. On June 18, 2009, ATF and CCPD executed a search warrant at the Wesevich residence and discovered and seized eight stolen firearms, as well as marijuana, cocaine and instruments for the use of distributing the controlled substances and arrested Chad Wesevich.Jamie Wesevich was arrested at an area hotel on June 24, 2009, by U.S. Marshals. Rangel was arrested by ATF and CCPD on July 20, 2009, at his place of business, while McNabb and Duran were apprehended at area residences by ATF, CCPD and U.S. Marshals on July 21, 2009.

“ATF will continue to pursue criminals who utilize firearms for violent crimes,” said Webb. “This sentencing should be seen as a deterrent to others considering burglaries at firearms dealers.”

McNabb was sentenced to a total of 293 months imprisonment without parole for his three convictions. Jamie Wesevich was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment without parole based upon the court finding he possessed the firearms in connection with his distribution of controlled substances. Chad Wesavich received 84 months imprisonment, while Duran received 30 months and Rangel received 18 months in federal prison. All five men have been in federal custody since their arrests and will remain in federal custody pending their transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where they will serve their respective sentences. Each defendant was also ordered to serve a three-year-term of supervised release following their release from prison. Both McNabb and Duran were each ordered to pay restitution to the owner of the gun shop for the damage done during the burglary.

“Today’s sentencing is yet another excellent example of the continuing cooperation between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ATF and the Corpus Christi Police Department,” Riggs said. “As a result of the hard work and devotion by the men and women of these agencies, five dangerous felons have been taken off our streets and sentenced to prison. Today, the City of Corpus Christi is a safer place to live, work and play. The good citizens of our city should rest easier this evening, knowing these five men can no longer victimize them. And the wrongdoers still among us should heed this warning to change their criminal ways, lest the same fate befalls them. “

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hess.

 

 

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