PEORIA — Two Peoria men are being sought on federal charges announced Friday relating to the theft of nearly 100 guns from two stores in Monmouth and Galesburg earlier this year.
According to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, on March 21, Keith Winters, 28, and Miray Smith, 19, along with another individual, allegedly drove a stolen truck from Peoria to The Tac Shack in Monmouth. Another individual drove in a separate vehicle to act as lookout for authorities, while the other three allegedly stole 39 guns from the store. They threw a brick through the window and used a metal pole to break the glass to get in, prosecutors said in a news release.
On March 29, the same group of individuals used the exact same tactics to steal 59 guns from Farm King in Galesburg. On both occasions, the group drove back to Peoria with the stolen guns and allegedly divided them among themselves.
Winters and Smith are charged with conspiring and stealing guns from a federal firearms licensee, the news release states, and are still at large.
The charges against them were unveiled Friday as federal prosecutors charged a third man, Jeremy Howard, 39, with two counts of possession of stolen guns. The release stated that Winters also faces two additional counts of possession of firearms by a felon and is due back in court next Friday. If convicted, the maximum penalty for each offense in his case is up to 10 years in prison, the release stated.