Man admits gun thefts meant to arm Ferguson protesters
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A parolee admitted in court Wednesday that he helped steal assault-style rifles and other firearms from a store during what investigators say was his plot to sell them to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
Dakota Moss, 19, of Centralia, Illinois, pleaded guilty in East St. Louis to stealing firearms from a federal licensee, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by violence, carrying a firearm during a violent crime, possession of stolen firearms and being a felon with a firearm, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He faces up to two decades in prison.
Authorities say Moss played a role in stealing the more than three dozen firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition during a November burglary of a farm-and-home supply store in Centralia, about 60 miles east of St. Louis.
The break-in came five days after sometimes-violent protests resurfaced in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of black, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Most of the stolen weapons were recovered, police said
Moss and an alleged 17-year-old accomplice were arrested separately after the burglary. A federal investigator said Moss said in a videotaped statement that “they were going to go to war just for the hell of it, but that the plan did not materialize.”
Clinton County State’s Attorney John Hudspeth said the case against Moss’ alleged accomplice has been “resolved” and he is in state custody.
Moss’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 31.