Illinois: Over 12 Months in Prison for Involvement in Looting a Gun Store

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Illinois: Over 12 Months in Prison for Involvement in Looting a Gun Store, iStock

PEORIA, Ill. – -(AmmoLand.com)- A Peoria, Illinois, man, Jeron C. McNeal, 29, of the 200 block of Northeast Rock Island Avenue, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and three years of supervised release on October 20, 2021, for his involvement in the burglary of a federally licensed firearms dealer and for giving false statements to federal law enforcement officers. U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade also ordered McNeal to pay $1,000 in restitution. McNeal will remain on bond and report to the Bureau of Prisons on February 1, 2022.

At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that on June 1, 2020, McNeal was the driver of an SUV whose occupants were participants in looting incidents around the city of Peoria. At approximately 2:00 a.m., McNeal, along with a caravan of approximately 30 cars, stopped in front of Pinnacle Gun & Ammo, a federal firearm licensee located at 701 Main Street. Two minors exited McNeal’s SUV and entered a smashed front window of Pinnacle along with approximately seven other unidentified individuals. McNeal’s sister, Chayla R. McNeal, stood at the SUV and recorded the incident with her phone. Each of the two minors with McNeal stole firearms from the store and ran back to McNeal’s SUV, which was waiting outside. When police gave chase, McNeal fled with the male minor and several guns. The female minor was unable to retreat to McNeal’s SUV in time and was apprehended by police. When she was captured, the minor female was in possession of three stolen guns. In total, twenty-nine firearms were stolen during the looting of Pinnacle.

The government presented additional evidence that on June 1, 2020, federal agents located and interviewed McNeal. He admitted to driving the black Cadillac SUV, which he owned, that was parked in front of Pinnacle at the time of the burglary. He also admitted to driving around the city from business to business that night and that he was present when looting occurred. However, McNeal provided false statements to agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in that he falsely claimed that (1) he only stopped in front of Pinnacle because he got stuck in traffic; (2) he didn’t know anyone got out of his SUV during the burglary; and (3) he made false statements about who was in the SUV when he went to Pinnacle.

At McNeal’s sentencing hearing, Judge McDade commented that McNeal did not have an extensive criminal record and may not have grasped the enormity of what he was doing, having failed to appreciate that he would go to prison if he was caught. Noting the serious nature of the crime, Judge McDade stated that putting stolen firearms in the hands of people who cannot lawfully possess them is contributing to violence in the streets. To date, five of the twenty-nine guns have been recovered.

McNeal was arrested on September 18, 2020, and pleaded guilty before Judge McDade on June 2, 2021.

The offense of stealing from a licensed firearms dealer carries a statutory penalty of up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release following imprisonment. For the offense of false statements, the statutory penalty is up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release following imprisonment.

Chayla R. McNeal has also pleaded guilty to burglary of a federally licensed firearms dealer and false statements to a federal law enforcement officer. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 5, 2021, in federal court in Peoria.

The Peoria Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

Chicago Field Division


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

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Stag
Stag (@eriggle83)
25 days ago

I see that when the ATF isn’t bragging about harassment, armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, violation of rights, and murder of innocent people they like to brag about actual criminals getting a slap on the wrist.

There are people serving life sentences for vegetation while scumbags who cause thousands of dollars in damages to people’s property and steal thousands of dollars in merchandise will be out in a matter of months.

You scumbags have ruined countless lives over nothing more than people exercising their rights. You people are the absolute dregs of society.

Tionico
Tionico (@tionico)
25 days ago

Another BATF puffpiece. SUre, they may have helped track down the missingguns and some of theperps. But local LE would likely have done just as well.Five of twenty nine is not a good recovery rate.
So WHAT precisely did BATF contribute to this “solving” of the heist that local LE could not have? I’d like to know if it was BATF proposed the wrist-slapping “sentences” handed down, or if the local bogus courts came up with those numbers. If BATF was behind the numbers, fire the louts who were involved. They are not serious about “controlling” underground criminal firearms trafficking.

Tionico
Tionico (@tionico)
25 days ago

Whoever decided what the sentence would be needs to be heavily sanctioned, debarred, etc. A year? A YEAR!!!!????!???? Twenty nine firearms were fed into the street pipeline. sofar only five havve been taken back. Tha means for the maths challenged (maths being racist and all,,you know…) that TWENY FIVE firearms remain in the hands of those who should not have them, and will likely (if not already) be used to further the crime rates. that pternalistic judge makes me sick…. saying that the punk likely was not aware of what he was doing and its seriousness. Jeah, right. Punk driver… Read more »

Doug G.
Doug G. (@gerbwa)
24 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

Mind you, he’ll also get credit for time served and early release for good conduct or over-crowding or some such BS, like covid. So, if he’s actually sitting in prison for 6 months, I’d be surprised.

uncle dudley
uncle dudley (@rockhouse)
25 days ago

The driver didn’t get a sentence that was tough enough, should had been at least five years and a day.

hippybiker
hippybiker (@hippy-biker)
25 days ago

I would hazard to opine that the only reason The6 got off lightly is because these people are members of the new “ Entitled Race.” You can draw your own conclusions.

2gats
2gats (@2-gats)
25 days ago

Stop providing a forum for atf dog killers

gregs
gregs (@gregsodeman)
25 days ago

yea, like they didn’t know that what they were doing was a criminal felony? sure, if they are mentally defective, maybe.
this is why people continue to commit crimes like this. soft on crime increases crime. severe punishment for all who commit crimes like these, instead of going after the law-abiding firearms owners for magazines and pistol braces.

Laddyboy
Laddyboy (@laddyboy)
25 days ago

This “judge” should be held accountable for NOT ENFORCING THE LAWS OF THE LAND!!

Terry
Terry (@tbell50)
25 days ago
Reply to  Laddyboy

Yep, the judicial branch is to blame almost as much as the criminal.

PatriciHenry
PatriciHenry (@patriciahenry)
26 days ago

ATF and it’s intolerable