A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia recently indicted six individuals accused of stealing guns in three states. The charges arise out of burglaries that resulted in the theft of approximately 129 guns that officials claim were later sold illegally. One of the men faces an additional charge of possessing a firearm as a felon, and four are also accused of being in possession of stolen firearms.
Officials claim that two of the individuals served as lookouts while the other four committed the burglaries. It is believed that these six individuals were involved in the thefts from gun stores in five different cities in three different states. No indication was given as to what led law enforcement officials to these particular individuals.
In addition to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, law enforcement officials from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina participated in the investigation, along with local police where the gun shops were located. Even though the federal grand jury decided that there was enough evidence to indict the six people, that does not mean that federal prosecutors will obtain convictions for all six of them. Evidence establishing each of their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt will need to be presented to the court in order for that to happen.
Every citizen of this country retains the right to be presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The mere filing of charges does not equate to guilt. It will be the job of each of their criminal defense teams to review the evidence and determine any weaknesses in the government’s case. Furthermore, each of them has rights, and if any violations of those rights are discovered, it would affect the outcome of the theft charges.
Source: Canton, GA Patch, “Six Indicted In Multi-State Gun Theft Spree“, Kristal Dixon, Feb. 2, 2017