GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Matthew Cameron Day Bolden, 24-years-old, and William Henry Watson, 22-years-old, both of Battle Creek, Michigan, pled guilty on January 28th, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one count of theft of firearms from a federally licensed dealer as detailed in an indictment returned on October 16, 2014, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today.
James Maurice Lucas, 19-years-old, also of Battle Creek, previously pled guilty to the theft on November 14, 2014.
Late in the evening on September 6, 2014, the three men, armed with two semiautomatic pistols, broke into U.S. Lumber Company in Battle Creek, which was closed for the day. They shattered display cases containing semiautomatic pistols and revolvers, and fled the store with 26 firearms.
Officers from the Battle Creek Police Department, responding to an alarm, apprehended Bolden and Watson at the scene. Lucas was arrested at a later date. Twenty-four of the firearms have been recovered.
“Stealing firearms from a federally licensed dealer is not only a dangerous crime in and of itself, but those stolen firearms can later pose a deadly threat to the public,” said U.S. Attorney Miles. “This office continues to protect the public by enforcing federal firearms law.”
“Anytime guns are stolen, the community is placed at risk,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Steven Bogdalek. “Theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer is one of the most serious federal crimes as the guns typically end up in the hands of violent criminals. ATF, along with our local, state and federal partners remain committed to aggressively investigating these crimes.”
Chief of Police Jim Blocker of the Battle Creek Police Department said, “This incident once again validates the importance of open and joint investigations with our Federal and State law enforcement agencies. The Battle Creek Police Department has retained a long-time position on the ATF Task Force, and this case demonstrates why this remains so vital to our mission. As a local department, we naturally operate with limited resources, and we remain grateful that our Federal and State partners are so willing to assist the Battle Creek Police Department.”
Bolden and Watson will be sentenced in June and Lucas will be sentenced in March. Each faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) conducted the investigation along with the Battle Creek Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin M. Presant is prosecuting the case. The prosecution was coordinated with the Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney.