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Press Release

Man Pleads Guilty in Selma Police Evidence Room Gun Theft Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

United States Attorney Richard Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Richard Allen Canterbury, of Valley Grande, entered a guilty plea in federal court   to three charges involving weapons stolen from the evidence room at the Selma Police Department.  Court documents reflect that Canterbury was implicated in an investigation initiated by the Selma Police Department when officers received information that some items from the evidence room were found at a middle school.  Responding officers interviewed Canterbury’s wife, who was employed at the police department as an evidence technician.  Because she had access to the evidence room, police concluded that she had taken some property from the evidence room without permission.  Subsequently, police received information that  Canterbury was selling numerous firearms at a job site near Selma.  Police were concerned that the firearms may have come from the evidence room, so they contacted Canterbury.   Canterbury was interviewed and admitted his participation in selling numerous firearms provided to him by his wife.  He also admitted using social media to advertise firearms for sale.  He took some money from the firearm sales back to his wife.  Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Alabama Attorney General’ Office were called in to assist in the investigation.  Agents recovered approximately 239 guns stolen from a storage unit inside the police evidence.    Many  firearms have been recovered so far in the investigation.  Agents also determined that Canterbury had been convicted of a felony, discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, in 1996.

United States District Court Judge Kristi K. Dubose accepted Canterbury’s guilty plea to the charges of possession of firearms by a convicted felon, possession of firearms with an obliterated serial number and selling firearms without a federal license.  He faces a penalty of up to 10 years on the first charge, and up to 5 years on each of the next two; a fine of up to $250,000; a three-year term of supervised release following any sentence of imprisonment; and a special mandatory assessment of $300.  Canterbury’s sentencing is set for July 27, 2018.  He remains under conditions of release pending the imposition of sentence.   

The federal case was investigated by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Gloria Bedwell prosecuted the case for the United States Attorney’s Office.

Updated March 1, 2018