Bass Pro Shops Firearms Thieves Plead Guilty
United States Attorney G.F. “Pete” Peterman, III, of the Middle District of Georgia announces that on October 31, 2016, Dante Thomas, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia entered a guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Theft from a Federal Firearms Licensee. Co-defendant Jabari Walters, 23, of East Point, Georgia, entered a plea to the same charge on September 12, 2016 as did co-defendants Tabari Walters, 23, of East Point, Georgia, and Kenneth Atwater, 34, of McDonough, Georgia, on October 27, 2016.
Through their pleas, these men admitted that on September 29, 2013, after discussing the idea of stealing firearms, they drove to the Bass Pro Shops in Macon, Georgia and parked along the side of Interstate 75 northbound, in the proximity of the business. All four men ran up the hill and approached the Bass Pro Shops on foot. Mr. Thomas broke and cleared the glass from the window of an emergency door using a yellow crowbar to gain access. They entered the store and ran to the firearms section, where they stole 17 firearms. The men then left the store and returned to Mr. Thomas’ vehicle, which they drove back to the Atlanta area.
Agents later obtained a search warrant for Mr. Thomas’ residence, in which they found a yellow crowbar that matched the one used to break into the Bass Pro Shops. The agents also obtained records from Mr. Thomas’ cell phone which revealed that his cell phone pinged off cell phone towers in the vicinity of the Bass Pro Shops around the time that the burglary took place.
All four men each face a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both. Sentencing for Jabari Walters is currently set for November 20, 2016. Sentencing for Tabari Walters, Kenneth Atwater, and Dante Thomas is currently scheduled for February 15, 2017.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Beth Howard is handling the prosecution for the Government.
Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.