Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement today announced the arrest of four men relating to more than 150 stolen firearms. The guns were stolen from stores in and around the Central Florida area. Authorities arrested, Richard Jernigan, 30, Robert Tilmon, 31, Raymond Williams, 28, and Jermeil Williams, 28, in connection to the burglaries. These men were allegedly involved in numerous armed burglaries of firearms and other valuable items for several years. Authorities are still searching for Kentric Collier, 28, in connection to the case.
“The ATF and the FDLE did a tremendous job in stopping a dangerous gun burglary ring targeting firearms dealers. The charges against these individuals are alarming—stealing guns to sell on our streets. My Office of Statewide Prosecution will aggressively prosecute this case to ensure justice is done,” said Attorney General Bondi.
“ATF’s primary focus is protecting the public by reducing violent crime”, said Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary. “ATF continues to aggressively pursue violent offenders and will continue to protect and serve communities with our law enforcement partners.”
Beginning in late 2016 and into 2017, ATF began investigating burglaries of Federal Firearms Licensees stores in and around the Central Florida area. A review of intelligence aided in determining some of the burglaries had similar distinguishing characteristics, such as the use of sledgehammers and pry bars to gain entry. The men are believed to be involved in more than five burglaries of FFLs that resulted in the loss of more than 150 firearms.
The investigation found that the suspects allegedly sold many of the firearms in the Orlando area within days of the burglaries. According to ATF, law enforcement has recovered approximately 35 of the 156 stolen firearms, most seized from prohibited individuals involved in previous violent criminal acts. These suspects are also allegedly involved in numerous burglaries targeting cash, electronics, firearm stores, jewelry, safes, and other valuable items in Orange, Polk, and Seminole counties
All five suspects face separate charges in connection to burglaries, grand theft of a firearm, grand theft and racketeering. The Altamonte Springs Police Department, the Longwood Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Orlando Police Department and the Winter Park Police Department assisted in this investigation.
The Attorney General Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.