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Crime & Courts

2 of 3 Streator gun thieves plead guilty

Two of the three men charged with stealing guns from a Streator gun shop pleaded guilty this week in Chicago federal court.

Keith Gullens, 27, and Rashad Anchando, 23, pleaded guilty to ramming a stolen Jeep into South Post Guns the night of June 21, 2016, then making off with 20 guns in another vehicle. The weapons consisted of one shotgun, one rifle, eight pistols and 10 revolvers. Romeo Blackman, 22, is also charged. Blackman has pleaded not guilty; his case remains pending in court.

The men were charged in federal court, because the shop was a federally licensed dealer. Gullens is to be sentenced Wednesday, July 11. Anchando is to be sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 8.

The Jeep was stolen from a shooting range in Spring Valley. Gullens first tried to sell the Jeep in Streator, before coming up with the plan to crash the vehicle into the shop, according to court papers. In addition to Anchando and Blackman, Gullens tried to enlist another person in the plot, but that person declined to take part, court papers said.

The defendants met at a house on Hickory Street in Streator, dressing in dark clothes, including hooded sweatshirts, before leaving for the gun shop in the Jeep and another vehicle.

After the break-in, the defendants returned to the Hickory Street house, where they recorded a video of themselves pointing the guns into the camera lens. The guns still had South Post's sales tags hanging from them in the video, which was posted to Facebook.

The defendants later distributed some of the guns in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood and kept the rest, police said. Englewood is one of Chicago's deadliest areas, according to records.

Request denied

Gullens remains free on bond, but confined to his Streator home; Anchando and Blackman are in custody. Last week, Gullens asked the judge to permit him to leave home to visit the Streator YMCA for exercise, but the judge denied the request, noting Gullens has had "location monitoring violations" since bonding out of custody in December 2016

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