By Mehgaan Jones
A Jonesboro man has been sentenced to federal prison, along with 12 co-defendants, on charges related to the theft of firearms.
The weapons were stolen from a federally-licensed firearms dealer, in Fayetteville, according to authorities.
Kissan Lynch, 25, was sentenced last Friday by United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester. Lynch is slated to serve 17 years, and six months, to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to Patrick Crosby, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"Lynch pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal firearms from a federally-licensed firearms dealer, conspiracy to receive, possess, conceal, store and dispose of the stolen firearms, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon," Crosby said.
Assistant United States Attorney Angela Marie Jordan prosecuted the case, according to Crosby in a press release.
Co-defendants in the case, from Clayton County, include:
*Anthony Alston, 24, of Riverdale, who received four years and three months to serve in federal prison;
*Roy Daniely, 22, of Jonesboro, who was given five months to serve in federal prison;
*Cornelius Heard, 22, of Riverdale, was handed two years and 10 months to serve;
*Brandon McClure, 22, of Jonesboro was sentenced to 10 years and five months in prison;
*Roland Williams, 21, of Riverdale, was given two years and six months in federal prison.
According to Unites States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, on Dec. 5, 2009, the monitored alarm system at Autrey's Armory, located in Fayetteville, indicated a break-in.
"The surveillance video revealed that at least six masked individuals entered the store," she said. Yates added that the suspects immediately proceeded to several gun counters, smashed the glass cases, and removed a large number of firearms.
"According to the evidence, all of the firearms were taken to an apartment and divided among seven of the co-defendants," she said.
"The firearms were then sold to individuals."
Autrey's Armory determined that over 80 firearms were stolen by the burglars, said Yates.
"Our communities are still being flooded with stolen and illegally purchased weapons, and they often end up in the middle of violent crimes, not only here, but in other parts of the country," said the Unites States Attorney.
"Just one stolen weapon can account for multiple crimes. With this case involving 80 firearms, and 13 defendants, the potential criminal damage was staggering. These criminals quickly enabled others to be armed criminals. The prison sentences reflect the need to take these defendants off the streets, and the guns they brought with them," she added.
According to officials with the United States Attorney's Office, an extensive Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigation resulted in the arrests of the individuals, involved in the break-in and distribution of the weapons.
"Once again, the combined efforts of our agents and the United States Attorney's Office have successfully brought closure to a crime that fuels the cycle of violence, that tears at the fabric of our community," said ATF Special Agent in Charge, Gregory K. Gant.
"The focus now is to continue to recover these firearms, and remove the threat of their use by criminals, to victimize our fellow citizens."