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Press Release

Odessa Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing Firearms from a Pawn Shop in Odessa

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In Midland today, U.S. District Judge David Counts sentenced 28-year-old Christopher Chase Mojica to 57 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for stealing firearms from a pawn shop in Odessa and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, stated U.S. Attorney John F. Bash; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Dallas Field Division; and, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke.

On July 23, 2019, Mojica pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and one count of theft of a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).   By pleading guilty, Mojica admitted that on April 29, 2019, he walked inside Cash America in Odessa, fired a flare gun at employees, smashed a display case then walked out with five firearms.  One of the stolen firearms was a Romarm/Cugir Draco 7.62x39mm caliber semi-automatic pistol manufactured outside the State of Texas.  According to court records, Mojica’s criminal history reveals a 2019 conviction in Ector County for burglary and a 2017 conviction in Ector County for possession of a controlled substance.

“Mr. Mojica victimized a Federal Firearms Licensee during business hours, placing employees and patrons at risk,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Boshek. “Swift action by the Odessa Police Department prevented stolen firearms from entering the illegal firearms trade, and strong law enforcement partnerships resulted in the successful federal prosecution.”

ATF and the Odessa Police Department conducted this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Harwood prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Updated October 30, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods