Feds break up Indianapolis gun theft ring
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In a federal indictment, four people face federal charges for what authorities call a conspiracy to steal a massive number of guns in central Indiana.
I-Team 8 first revealed the thefts a year ago, reporting more than 200 high-quality firearms had been stolen from a warehouse on South Tibbs Avenue. So far, investigators have retrieved 33 of those guns, leaving more than 170 out on the street.
Zachary Myers, U.S. attorney for the Indianapolis district, said in a news conference Friday, “Over the course of months, these stolen guns disappeared from the stream of commerce and were pumped into our community into the hands of people who had no business having them.”
Bruce Williams worked at a trucking terminal on South Tibbs Avenue on the west side of Indianapolis. According to investigators, he stole firearms that were being shipped from the manufacturer to federally licensed firearms dealers.
Williams had help from Zackary Doss and Kevin Jones, both who are prohibited from possessing firearms due to previous felony convictions, I-Team 8 was told.
Jones on Friday remained on the run from law enforcement.
Over the course of a few months, the three men had their hands on more than 200 stolen firearms. Investigators say many of the guns were sold to other people.
The U.S. attorney said, “So, the insiders stealing guns and then selling them to people who have no business having them in the first place. Some of them would allegedly sell them further into the community themselves.”
The thefts were discovered in March 2021 and continued for at least another month.
I-Team 8 reported in its 2022 story that two rifles valued at over $4,800 each were among the stolen firearms.
Investigators say the stolen firearms are pistols or revolvers with the exception of five rifles.
John Nokes, a special agent in charge with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said, “When the manufacturers report these firearms missing, ATF issues the serial numbers to them for their firearms. We give them an allotments of serial numbers that is pretty easy to track back and figure out which ones are missing, and that goes into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) system. If those firearms end up anywhere in the country, they will be reported stolen.”
Other people are involved in the case, but the indictment did not list their names.