Four men from Toledo were indicted for firearms crimes.
Emanuel Riley, 27, and Sevario Whitaker, 36, were charged with with theft from a federal firearms licensee, possession of silencers not registered to them, possession of stolen firearms, and possession of firearms after being convicted of a felony.
According to documents filed in the case:
A federal firearms licensee doing business as Towers Armory was burglarized on November 19, 2018. Approximately 46 firearms, six suppressors and four gun bags were missing from the store. Video surveillance from the store showed two men entered the store at approximately 3:24 a.m. after gaining access through the ventilation system on the roof and began removing firearms. They returned to the store several times in the early morning hours and continued removing firearms.
Investigators obtained additional footage from a nearby business that showed the two men entered a Toyota Camry and drove away. A Toledo police detective recognized the vehicle as one that was used by Riley.
The vehicle was towed from Riley’s mother’s house and Oregon police executed a state search warrant. Inside the vehicle they recovered gloves, a hat, a face mask and Friday the 13th-style mask consistent with what the burglars on the store surveillance footage were wearing. Whitaker was arrested on an outstanding warrant and also found to be wearing a sweatshirt consistent with what one of the burglars was wearing.
DNA testing revealed Whitaker’s DNA could not be excluded from a red pry bar left behind at the burglary scene and the DNA of both men could not be excluded from DNA taken from the face mask recovered from the Camry.
A search of cell tower records indicates both Riley and Whitaker’s phones connected with a cell tower within one mile of the firearms store around the time of the burglary.
Darius Travell Johnson, 30, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Johnson possessed a Taurus PT-111 pistol on January 16, despite previous convictions for felonious assault and robbery, according to the indictment.
Robert Louis Winston, 58, of Toledo, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Winston possessed a Smith and Wesson .380-caliber pistol on January 9 despite previous convictions for aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, trafficking in heroin and numerous other crimes, according to the indictment.
These cases are being prosecuted as part of “Project Safe Neighborhoods,” a gun violence reduction program administered by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. The program targets armed criminals for federal prosecution.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Simko following investigations by the Oregon Police Department, Toledo Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (Riley and Whitaker), Sylvania Township Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the ATF (Johnson and Winston).
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after reviewing factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The burden of proof is always on the government to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Author: February 8, 2019