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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Three Men Charged with Stealing Twenty Firearms in Smash-and-Grab Burglary of Livingston County Gun Store

CHICAGO — Three men crashed a stolen Jeep Wrangler through the front of a Livingston County gun store last summer and stole 20 firearms, according to a federal indictment announced today.

ROMEO BLACKMAN, RASHAD ANCHANDO and KEITH GULLENS are charged with conspiring to steal firearms from South Post Guns in Streator. The trio stole a black Jeep Wrangler in Spring Valley on June 21, 2016, and used it the following day to smash through the front of the gun shop, according to the indictment. Once inside the store, the defendants smashed the glass casing where the firearms were displayed and took 18 handguns, one rifle and one shotgun, the indictment states.

The indictment was returned on May 25, 2017, in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In addition to the conspiracy count, the trio is also charged with possession of stolen firearms and burglary of a federally licensed firearms business. Blackman and Gullens each face an additional count of illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

Anchando, 22, of Chicago, and Gullens, 27, of Streator, are currently in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, while Blackman, 21, of Chicago, is in the custody of the LaSalle County Sherriff’s Office. Arraignments for Anchando and Gullens are scheduled for June 13, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman in Chicago. Arraignment for Blackman is set before Judge Weisman on June 15, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

The indictment was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office provided substantial assistance.

According to the indictment, the defendants and others agreed to meet at a house in Streator after the burglary. The defendants and others recorded videos of themselves holding the stolen firearms and posted them online, the indictment states. The defendants and others cut off the price tags from the stolen guns and took them to Chicago, where they conspired to either sell them, use them, or threaten to use them against others, the indictment states.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The conspiracy count is punishable by up to five years in prison, while the other counts carry a maximum sentence of ten years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Albert Berry and Ankur Srivastava.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated May 31, 2017