Mexico, Missouri man pleads guilty to possessing stolen firearms

Illegal Firearms and firearm theft

 A Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing stolen firearms taken during the burglary of Tiger Pawn Shop in Columbia, Mo.

Tyler Andrew Hilderman, 27, of Mexico, Missouri pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr. to one count of possessing stolen firearms and one count of stealing firearms from a licensed firearms dealer.

Co-defendant Alexander Mears, 21, of Columbia, Mo., pleaded guilty on July 14, 2020, to possessing stolen firearms. Mears admitted that he and Hilderman stole 65 firearms during the burglary of Tiger Pawn Shop in September 2019.

According to Mears’s plea agreement, he and Hilderman made a hole in the building’s wall in order to enter the pawnshop. Mears handed the firearms through the hole in the building wall to Hilderman, who remained outside. 

Hilderman received one pistol from the burglary, a Springfield Armory .45-caliber pistol. He was supposed to receive half the proceeds from the sale of the remainder of the firearms. The pistol was found by law enforcement officers who executed a search warrant at a residence in Cooper County, Mo. The occupant of the residence told officers he purchased the gun from a woman, who in turn said she obtained the gun from Hilderman.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.