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Date: 05-22-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Erika Garner; Dezmond Hardy; Shaleik Ward; Terrence Daniels

Case Number:

Judge: James E. Shadid

Court: The United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for Peoria

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description:

Peoria, Illinois criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendants charged with Multiple Attempts to Steal Guns from Federal Firearms Licensees

Four Peorians Sentenced After Multiple Attempts to Steal Guns from Federal Firearms Licensees



After serving over six months in county jail, the last of four defendants, Erika Garner, 22, of the 6500 block of North Lexington Drive in Peoria, Illinois, was sentenced on May 21, 2024, to time served, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring in August 2023 to burglarize gun stores in Spring Valley, Taylorville, LeRoy, Lincoln, Decatur and Bloomington.

Three other defendants also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and possess firearms from federal firearms licensees.

Dezmond Hardy, 23, of the 4000 block of North Brandywine Drive, Peoria, Illinois was sentenced on May 16, 2024, to 21 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.

Shaleik Ward, 20, of the 2700 block of West Trewyn Avenue, Peoria, Illinois was sentenced on May 9, 2024, to 15 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Terrence Daniels, 23, of the 4000 block of North Brandywine Drive, Peoria, Illinois was sentenced on May 9, 2024, to 45 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years supervised release. Daniels’ sentence was a combination of a 33-month prison sentence imposed for the conspiracy charge and a 12-month consecutive prison sentence imposed for committing the offense while on supervised release for committing the same conduct in 2019 and 2020 when he and others stole 50 firearms during a five-county burglary spree of gun stores.

A complaint was filed in August 2023, followed by an indictment in September 2023 against Daniels, Ward, Hardy and Garner. All four entered guilty pleas in January 2024.

Daniels, Ward, and Hardy have remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since their arrest. Garner was originally released on bond, but her bond was revoked in November 2023 after she was found to have violated her conditions of release.

All the defendants must jointly pay $2,500 in restitution for damages to one of the businesses.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that on multiple occasions between August 14 and August 18, 2023, the defendants, in varying combinations of participants, drove from Peoria to six different towns located throughout Central Illinois, and attempted to burglarize guns stores. The defendants attempted to steal guns from Mean Metal in Spring Valley; Powder Keg Outfitters in Taylorville; Guns and Glory in Le Roy; Tactical Bunker in Lincoln; Archers Alley in Decatur; and Smiley’s Sports Shop in Bloomington. Although multiple businesses suffered property damage, the defendants failed to enter any of the stores and no firearms were taken during the attempted burglaries. All four defendants were arrested on August 18, 2023, when members of the Peoria Area Federal Firearms Task Force and Peoria Police conducted a vehicle containment maneuver on War Memorial Drive as the defendants returned from their most recent failed attempt.

The statutory penalties for conspiracy to steal and possess firearms from a federal firearms licensee is up to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

“Stolen guns are used to commit acts of violence in our communities,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna. “Our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners worked together to quickly resolve this case before any guns got into the wrong hands.”

The Peoria Area Federal Firearms Task Force, comprised of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Peoria Police Department; the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department; Illinois Department of Corrections; and the Illinois State Police, investigated the case. The Spring Valley, Taylorville, and Decatur Police Departments also participated in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Outcome:

Defendant was found guilty and

Erika Garne was sentenced to time served, followed by three years of supervised release

Dezmond Hardy was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.

Shaleik Ward was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Terrence Daniels was sentenced to 45 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years supervised release

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