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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Two Illinois Men Sentenced for Stealing 366 Firearms

Memphis, TN – Two Illinois men have been sentenced to a total of 109 months in federal prison for transporting and possession of stolen firearms. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on September 30, 2018, at approximately 3:45a.m., Memphis Police responded to a theft at the United Parcel Services ("UPS") facility located at 1803 E. Brooks Road. Three hundred and twenty-two (322) Ruger .380 caliber pistols and forty-four (44) Ruger .22 caliber pistols were stolen from a shipment of firearms. Roland Jackson, 25, and Taveyon Turnbo, 19, both from Chicago, Illinois, removed the firearms from a tractor-trailer and loaded them onto a U-Haul van. They fled the scene in the U-Haul van when police arrived and drove back to Illinois.

At approximately 3:05 p.m., the Midlothian, Illinois Police Department received a suspicious vehicle call involving a U-Haul at a Walgreens located on W. 148th Street in Midlothian. When officers arrived, they located Jackson in the driver’s seat and Turnbo in the front passenger’s seat of the U-Haul. After obtaining their identification, officers determined that Jackson’s driver’s license was suspended. Officers then observed a gun box with the "Ruger" logo on it.

When officers ordered Jackson and Turnbo from the vehicle, they locked the vehicle and attempted to start it. After an officer struck the window of the vehicle to detain the suspects, they exited the vehicle and ran. Turnbo was subsequently located and arrested. Jackson was able to escape. On October 3, 2018, Jackson surrendered to police in Chicago, Illinois. Law enforcement recovered three hundred and sixty-two (362) of the three hundred sixty-six (366) stolen firearms from the U-Haul van in Midlothian.

Law enforcement determined that the U-Haul van was rented on September 26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Surveillance video from the U-Haul store showed Jackson entered the store with a female and rented the van with stolen identification.

Roland Jackson pled guilty to transporting stolen firearms in interstate commerce, possessing stolen firearms, and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

Taveyan Turnbo pled guilty to transporting stolen firearms in interstate commerce and possessing stolen firearms.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Cargo theft from shipping facilities that interrupts and threatens interstate commerce must be dealt with swiftly and certainly. Cargo theft of hundreds of firearms is especially dangerous, and threatens the lives of countless citizens. We are thankful that almost all of the stolen firearms were recovered due to the quick action and outstanding investigation by local and federal law enforcement, and we appreciate the coordination and partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in this disturbing case. Interstate trafficking of stolen firearms will be met with aggressive prosecution in order to protect public safety."

ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson said, "Reducing the potential for violent crime that have negative effects to the neighborhoods throughout the region was critical due to ATF partnering with our state, local and federal counterparts. The sentencing illustrates the effective partnerships with law enforcement, the private sector and the community."

"The sentencings today were the culmination of a collective effort between federal and local law enforcement that ultimately kept stolen weapons off the streets and prevented their use in future violence," said M.A. Myers, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the FBI. "The FBI, through strong partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement via task forces and other relationships will continue to work to ensure the safety of our communities."

On September 27, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced both men to a total of 109 months followed by 3 years supervised release.

This case was investigated by the ATF; FBI Cargo Theft Task Force; Midlothian, Illinois Police Department and the Memphis Police Department, during which all of the stolen firearms were safely and successfully recovered.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marques T. Young prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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Contact: 
Cherri Green Contact Public Affairs (901) 544-4231 Cherri.Green@usdoj.gov
Updated October 1, 2019