JAMESTOWN, NY – Jamestown police are announcing the arrest of two city men following an investigation into dozens of guns that were stolen from central pennsylvania.
According to Jamestown Police Captain Robert Samuelson, on Friday, June 17 at about 9:30 p.m. officers were conducting a street check of an individual walking on South Main St. at Axtel St. in Jamestown.
The subject was identified as 36 year-old Jason Thorn and was found to have an active bench warrant.
Thorn was taken into custody and was found to be in possession of a pistol that was found to be stolen during a burglary of a gun shop in Mansfield, PA.
Police contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and a subsequent investigation determined that the gun was one of dozens that were taken in three separate burglaries in the central Pennsylvania area.
As a result of the investigation, both Jamestown police and federal ATF officials recovered 55 stolen handguns and rifles on Tuesday, June 21, which they say were destined to be sold on the streets of the Jamestown area.
The investigation resulted in both Thorn and 31 year-old Ben McCormack being arrested and both face a multiple count federal indictment for their part in the three burglaries.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, McCormack and Thorne are charged with conspiracy to steal and unlawfully possess firearms from the inventories of licensed gun stores.
In a media release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Middle District of Pennsylvania, officials say on or about May 29, 2016, McCormack and an unindicted co-conspirator allegedly broke into Arrowhead Outdoors, a gun store in Tionesta, Pennsylvania and stole approximately 28 firearms. On or about June 17, 2016, McCormack and Thorne allegedly stole approximately 36 firearms from GNR Sporting Goods in Mansfield. On or about June 20, 2016, McCormack and an unindicted co-conspirator allegedly broke into and stole approximately 29 firearms from Fulmer’s Sporting Goods in Wysox Township.
“Gun thieves are a principal source of weapons that make their way into the hands of criminals. Stolen guns are quickly dispensed through underground transactions and the cycle of violence is initiated,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi. “I commend the diligent work of the investigators from ATF, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Jamestown Police Department in New York, in this ongoing, wide-ranging and multi-jurisdictional investigation. Their outstanding investigative efforts led to the recovery of at least 55 of the stolen firearms that were destined for our communities and led to the swift identifications and arrests of those involved in these gun store burglaries.”
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Jamestown, New York Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George Rocktashel and John Gurganus.
Anyone having information regarding the gun store burglaries should call the ATF 24/7 hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477) or email: ATFTips@atf.gov