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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 17, 2017

Two Sentenced For Burglary Of Macon Bass Pro Shops

Two of four defendants, all of whom have previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit theft from a federal firearms licensee stemming from the September 29, 2013, burglary of the Macon Bass Pro Shops, were sentenced this week in Macon by the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, District Court Judge, announced United States Attorney G. F. “Pete” Peterman, III.

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Dante Thomas, age 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to five years in prison, to run consecutively to an unrelated state sentence. On Friday, March 17, 2017, Tabari Walters, age 24, of East Point, Georgia, was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment. They were also ordered to pay $14,619.83 in restitution to Bass Pro Shops, being jointly and severally liable for this amount. There is no parole in the federal system.

Through their pleas the men admitted that, after discussing the idea of stealing firearms, they drove from the Atlanta area to the Bass Pro Shops in Macon, Georgia, and parked along the side of Interstate 75 northbound, next to the store. All four men then ran up the hill and approached the store on foot near where boats are displayed. Shortly before midnight Mr. Thomas broke and cleared the glass from the window of an emergency door using a yellow crowbar to gain access. All four men ran to the firearms section, where they stole 17 firearms. They then returned to the Atlanta area.

Agents later obtained a search warrant for Mr. Thomas’ residence, where they found a yellow crowbar that matched the one used to break into the Bass Pro Shops. Agents also obtained records from Mr. Thomas’ cell phone which revealed that the device had been used in the vicinity of cell phone towers in the area of the Bass Pro Shops around the time of the burglary.

Sentencing for remaining co-defendants, Kenneth Atwater, 35, of McDonough, Georgia, and Jabari Walters, 24, of East Point, Georgia, is currently set for April 12, 2017.

“With the increase in violent crime and gun related violence that our communities are experiencing, including the recent murders of five law enforcement officers by gunfire in this area in recent months, the United States Attorney’s Office, consistent with the mandate of Attorney General Sessions, will vigorously prosecute all defendants who illegally obtain or possess firearms. These defendants, and those to whom they would have sold or given these weapons, certainly fall into that category,” said United States Attorney Peterman.

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 Brittney Kish Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 752-3511.

Topic: 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated March 17, 2017