A third person has been arrested in connection with a burglary at an U.S. Army Reserve center in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Tyrone James, 28, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of making false statements. He is scheduled to appear in a Boston federal court on Jan. 4.
According to court documents, former Army reservist James Morales was arrested on Nov. 19 for stealing 16 weapons, both rifles and handguns, from the Worcester Armory. A day later, the investigation led federal agents to the house of Ashlee Bigsbee and Tryone James, who had met with Morales the day after the robbery.
Morales told investigators that Bigsbee introduced him to Tyrone James, who then arranged the sale of five handguns in two separate transactions, which Tyrone James falsely denied, the complaint says.
However, forensic examiners recovered numerous previously-deleted text messages in which Tyrone James allegedly offered to arrange the sale of the stolen guns.
For example, on Nov. 15, Tyrone texted one contact, “Bro hit me if u know anyone lookin for any blicks” and then in a separate conversation, he allegedly negotiated the sale of three M-11 handguns for $900.
If convicted of the felony gun charge, Tyrone James could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For the false statement, up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
After his arrest, Morales was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun, one count of unlawful possession of stolen firearms and one count of theft of government property.
Bigsbee, who was arrested Nov. 20, has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of stolen firearms and one count of false statements.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 10 of the stolen firearms have been recovered, meaning six are still in circulation. The FBI says the weapons are Sig Sauer P228 9mm pistols with the military identifiers etched into the frame. One side reads “U.S.” and “M11.”
The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the stolen guns. Anyone with information should contact the FBI’s Boston office immediately at 617-742-5533.