In an indictment partially unsealed today, a federal grand jury charged Dashawn Talifario Taylor, Anthony Lamar Craft, Jr., and Tyronza Hampton, Jr., for stealing 27 firearms from a Hayward gun shop on the night of May 31, 2020, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman. The grand jury also charged Taylor with possession of a stolen firearm and Craft with being a felon in a possession of a firearm.
According to the indictment and an affidavit by an ATF agent in connection with a criminal complaint filed in the same matter, on the night of May 31, 2020, Taylor, 23, Craft, 26, and Hampton, 25, all of Oakland, and several others congregated outside of Richardson Tactical, a firearms retail store in Hayward, California, after business hours when the store was closed. The co-conspirators allegedly broke the store window and entered the store, where they smashed display cabinets and ripped firearms from the walls. In total, the defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly stole no fewer than 27 firearms from the store. The co-conspirators then left the store together and fled the location.
Court filings indicate that surveillance footage and fingerprint evidence were used to identify the defendants, who were arrested between July 15, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Furthermore, according to court filings, on June 6, 2020, in Oakland, California, defendant Taylor attempted to flee by car with several other individuals from the scene of a shooting. The car crashed, at which point Taylor was apprehended; one of the stolen firearms was allegedly recovered from the front passenger area of the car, where Taylor had been sitting. In addition, according to court filings, on June 18, 2020, Craft posted a photo to Instagram, depicting him holding two of the stolen firearms.
“This burglary occurred on a night when Hayward and many other cities in the Bay Area and across the country were experiencing civil unrest and protests,” U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson commented. “My office stands in support of all Americans exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceable assembly and speech. But we will also investigate and seek justice for those who use the cover of lawful protests to break the law.”
Taylor and Hampton were previously arrested and have made their initial appearances before the magistrate court. Both were ordered released on bond, and are currently scheduled to appear before the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Court Judge, on September 25, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. Craft was arrested on July 31, 2020, and made his initial appearance before the magistrate court today. Craft’s next scheduled appearance is before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon tomorrow, August 4, 2020, for a detention hearing.
One defendant charged in the indictment has not been arrested and remains a fugitive.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendants face a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution if convicted of theft from a federal firearms licensee in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(u), felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), or possession of a stolen firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). If convicted of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
This case is being prosecuted by the Oakland Branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the ATF with the assistance of the Hayward and Oakland Police Departments, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.