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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rockford Man Sentenced to over 15 Years for Firearm Offenses

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced in federal court by U.S. District Court Judge Philip G. Reinhard for his role in a conspiracy to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell, and dispose of stolen firearms and ammunition, and other firearms offenses.

TEOVANNI CUNNINGHAM, 31, was sentenced Tuesday to a total of 188 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Cunningham also was ordered to pay restitution to victims of the conspiracy.

Cunningham pleaded guilty on May 31, 2016, to conspiring to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell, and dispose of stolen firearms and ammunition; receiving, possessing, concealing, and storing stolen firearms and ammunition; and illegally possessing firearms and ammunition as a felon.  In a written plea agreement, Cunningham admitted that he conspired with codefendants, MICHAEL SCHAFFER, 34, and MICHAEL TAPIA, 25, of Belvidere, Ill., to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell, and dispose of stolen firearms and ammunition. Cunningham admitted that, on Dec. 31, 2012, he and Tapia broke into a residence in Rockton, Ill., and stole over 21 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the residence. The plea agreement states that Cunningham learned about the firearm collection from Schaffer, who showed Cunningham where the residence was located and informed Cunningham when the residents would be away from home. Cunningham admitted that he and Tapia later sold or disposed of stolen firearms and ammunition to individuals in northern Illinois. Cunningham also admitted that he transferred four of the stolen firearms to codefendant DARRELL REED, 28, of Byron, Ill., and he gave firearms to Schaffer for Schaffer’s part in the conspiracy.

Schaffer pleaded guilty on June 3, 2016, to conspiring to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell, and dispose of stolen firearms and ammunition, and Reed pleaded guilty on June 15, 2016, to receiving, possessing, concealing, storing, selling, and disposing of stolen firearms. Tapia was found guilty by a federal jury on August 25, 2016, of conspiracy to receive, possess, conceal, store, sell, and dispose of stolen firearms and ammunition, and other firearms offenses. Sentencing is scheduled for Reed on Oct. 14, 2016, at 9:30 a.m., and for Tapia on Dec. 14, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.

The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffery A. Magee, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, Rockton Police Department and Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Talia Bucci and Michael D. Love.

Topic: 
Firearms Offenses
Updated September 22, 2016