EAST ST. LOUIS • A teen from Centralia, Ill., faces charges in federal court here accusing him of stealing 39 guns with the thought of selling them to Ferguson protesters, according to court documents.
Dakota R. Moss, 19, told investigators that after a store burglary Nov. 29, he and a juvenile accomplice, 17, discussed traveling to Ferguson. They also allegedly had plans to loot Ferguson stores, although local police called it just “big talk.”
The two used a pickup stolen from a high school in Centralia to ram security gates of a Buchheit farm and home store, according to an affidavit by Special Agent Adam Ulery of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Centralia is about 60 miles east of St. Louis.
They allegedly made three trips to the store to haul off 29 pistols, nine rifles and a shotgun.
Centralia police Lt. Greg Dodson said the burglary occurred at the tail end of a two-day “crime spree” by Moss, who allegedly had stolen multiple vehicles from two different locations. Dodson said the two had no connections in Ferguson.
Ulery wrote that the juvenile was arrested on the street Nov. 30 and was armed with two of the guns. A search of Moss’ home found 30 guns, with three more recovered after Moss was arrested.
In a video confession, the affidavit says, Moss said they discussed taking the guns to Ferguson and participating in looting there. He also said that on the second and third trips to the store, the two were armed and ready to shoot anyone who interfered — including police.
Moss was charged with stealing firearms from a federal licensee, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, possession of stolen firearms and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was on parole after being sentenced to three years in prison on stolen vehicle charges, according to online records from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Dodson said Moss had been released in September.
Both teens have been named on state charges, the officer said.
Moss is scheduled to appear in federal court Dec. 10. No lawyer was listed for him, and his family could not be reached for comment Thursday.