Centralia man gets 20 years in federal prison for Buchheit gun thefts

EAST ST. LOUIS — Dakota R. Moss, 20, of Centralia, was sentenced to 248 months in federal prison on September 11, 2015,

Dakota Moss (Source: CCSO)
Dakota Moss
(Source: CCSO)

for burglarizing the Buchheit of Centralia farm and home supply store and stealing thirty nine (39) guns, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Moss was also ordered to pay $29,712.75 in restitution, to pay a $400 special assessment, and to serve five years of supervised release after he is released from prison.

Moss was arrested days after the burglary and was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 16, 2014. Moss’ accomplice was not identified because that person is a juvenile. Moss pleaded guilty on April 29, 2015, in US District Court.

On November 29, 2014, the Buchheit of Centralia farm and home supply store was burglarized and thirty nine (39) firearms were stolen, along with at least one thousand rounds of ammunition. The burglary was accomplished using a full size pickup truck, which was stolen from the Centralia, Illinois High School. The suspects used the stolen truck to ram the locked security gate to make entry onto Buchheit’s parking lot, where the suspects then broke out store windows to make entry into the store. The surveillance video established that the initial burglary occurred at approximately 2:40 am. However, the video evidence revealed that the two suspects left the scene and returned to steal additional firearms and ammunition on two occasions – thereby making a total of three separate entries into the FFL between 2:40 am and 4:00 am.

Evidence established that Moss and his juvenile accomplice were armed while inside of Buchheit’s and intended to shoot anyone who interrupted the burglary – including police. Moss and his accomplice stole the firearms in order to sell the guns for profit. It was established during sentencing that Moss and his accomplice discussed selling the firearms while also participating in the ongoing rioting and looting of businesses in the Ferguson, Missouri area in the summer of 2014.

Centralia Police and agents from the ATF identified the suspects soon after the burglary and have recovered 37 of the 39 stolen guns as of this date. Anyone with knowledge of the remaining stolen firearms or the ammunition is encouraged to call law enforcement.

US Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton credited the law enforcement response when he stated, “The ATF, the Centralia police department and Clinton County State’s Attorney John Hudspeth all deserve credit for the cooperation and outstanding investigation that made this sentence possible.” US Attorney Wigginton said, “I hope this sentence serve as a warning to others who would consider stealing and trafficking in firearms. We will find you, and you will go to prison. Moss is now scheduled to serve more time in prison than he has been on this earth.”

The investigation is being conducted by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Centralia Police Department, along with the Clinton County State’s Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.