Three Texas men have recently pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing 654 firearms from United Parcel Service trailers in Springfield, Missouri, en route to Bass Pro Shops.
Raynord Hunt, 36, of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charges contained in a February 21, 2018, federal indictment. Co-defendants Eric White, 27, of Arlington, Texas, and Derrick White, 33, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to the same charges in January.
Frank McChriston, 34, and Keith Lowe, 29, both of Dallas, and Quinton Haywood, 27, of Glenn Heights, Texas, also have pleaded guilty to the same charges.
By pleading guilty, all six defendants admitted they aided and abetted each other to steal cargo that was being shipped across state lines, from Beretta USA in Maryland to the state of Missouri. They also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting each other to possess stolen firearms.
According to court documents, the defendants stole 600 Beretta .380-caliber handguns and 54 Beretta 12-gauge shotguns from United Parcel Service trailers in Springfield in October 2017.
The firearms were in the process of being shipped from Beretta Firearms in Maryland to Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. The trailers in which the firearms were shipped had been parked in the UPS freight lot in a configuration to prevent access to the trailer doors, by being parked back-to-back, with the roll-up doors facing each other. The trailers were then blocked by longer trailers, which should have acted as a preventative measure from someone backing a truck-tractor to the trailer and pulling it forward.
Sometime between noon on Oct. 28, 2017, and 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2017, thieves hot-wired two truck-tractors and used them to push and pull various trailers around the lot, allowing the thieves access to the trailer doors. UPS employees discovered the theft on Oct. 29, 2017, and notified law enforcement.
Under federal statutes, each of the defendants is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.