Feds charge 4 more in weapons theft from Wayne Co.
Social media posts showing an array of guns laid out on a sheet led authorities to find two men linked to a series of robberies at two Wayne County gun stores this month and now officials Federals are seeking charges against four other people they say are involved, court records show.
The burglaries were reported on September 11 and 12 at the CC Coins Jewelry and Loan in Dearborn Heights, which was hit twice, and at the Freedom Holster Gun Shop in Westland.
Authorities noted the similarities between the burglaries, which involved large groups smashing stolen SUVs into the federal firearms license holder before stealing weapons, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court.
Two brothers, Kendrick Rayford and Keondrick Rayford, were arrested within days. And clues led investigators to four associates soon after.
As part of the investigation, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives analyzed social media posts and noticed an Instagram account belonging to a man who appeared to be linked to a Detroit gang.
In several photos, the user, identified as Tivon Jaquess Jr., “is holding what appears to be an AK variant firearm. There were several AK variant firearms stolen from the Dearborn and Westland burglaries that match the characteristics of the gun (it) is holding in the Instagram photo,” according to a criminal complaint.
Another photo showed “a large number of firearms, both rifles and pistols, lying on a sheet with no less than six unidentified individuals standing around the firearms,” the filing said. “These firearms have been positively identified as matching the description of some of the firearms that were stolen in the Westland robbery.”
On September 20, officers executed a search warrant at a Detroit home where Jaquess is known to live. He wasn’t there but they found a gun on a dresser and six spread between two backpacks, according to the file. Four were identified as stolen during the Westland burglary.
Officers also found another suspect, Keijuan Watkins, at the residence. Investigators spotted him earlier in an Instagram photo carrying one of these stolen weapons, a “distinctive rifle with a dark buffer tube, dark pistol grip, dark barrel, light brown receiver and light brown magazine “, according to a criminal complaint.
Separately, the ATF has learned that another suspect, Brandon Carter, was allegedly involved in the robberies. On September 15, officers executed a search warrant at a Detroit home he had been seen leaving and recovered a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol stolen from CC Coins from a closet, court records show.
Carter and his brother, Damond “Turk” Jordan, were there and being held for questioning. Carter told officers he was involved in both thefts from CC Coins, including driving there “to serve as an escape vehicle for others who entered the store and stole the guns,” according to a report. complaint.
He and others returned a day later, but Carter “waited in the car while others entered the store…became apprehensive about the time they were inside the store and returned with a another to his residence where they took the stolen firearms,” officials wrote. .
Jordan told officers he knew his brother was involved in the robberies. Jordan did not participate but spotted an AR rifle in the basement of his home shortly after and “admitted to trading a rifle magazine to an individual in exchange for a pistol,” according to a complaint. “Jordan admitted knowing the gun was stolen and said he was going to try to sell it. Jordan admitted to throwing the gun in the upstairs closet when officers arrived…”
Jaquess, Watkins and Jordan are all charged with knowingly possessing stolen firearms. Carter is also charged with stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee, according to court documents.
Watkins, Jordan and Carter all appeared in court, records show.
Both brothers face a preliminary hearing on Dec. 6, while Carter was due to appear for a bail hearing on Friday. Watkins’ preliminary exam was scheduled for Oct. 5.
No court date has been set for Jaquess, and it is unclear if he has been arrested.