The owner of Tony's Guns and Police Supply is relieved to know one of the suspects who broke into his business and stole $20,000 in handguns in 2016 pleaded guilty to federal charges last week.
"That's good news," said gun store owner Tony Ashy about 24-year-old Cedric Reddick's guilty plea.
Reddick and a co-defendant are charged with smashing display cases filled with firearms and filling bags with 69 handguns before leaving through the front door on foot on Aug. 5. The incident was recorded on a surveillance camera.
Though he is relieved, Ashy wants the other suspect to come to justice and all of the firearms to be found.
Ashy, who opened the store in 1990, said he had not had problems at the store until recent years. The gun store was robbed in July 2012 when at least two men allegedly stole numerous weapons. No arrests have been made yet in that incident, according to Sumter County Sheriff's Office.
You're a target when you have a business and you try your best to make it secure, he said.
You put a lock on the door to keep honest people out, he said, but if someone wants to get in, they will find a way.
There is only so much you can do for security because people who want to do wrong are always ahead of you, Ashy said. If they would spend their time on more productive things, they would not be in jail, he said.
Reddick pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal firearms from a federal firearms licensee and being a felon in possession of a firearm for his involvement in the August 2016 incident, according to the United States Attorney District of South Carolina.
A search warrant executed at Reddick’s apartment revealed a 9mm handgun reportedly stolen during the Tony's Guns burglary.
Reddick faces a maximum of five years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release on the conspiracy charge and faces a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release on the felon in possession of a firearm charge.
Reddick was previously convicted of second-degree burglary and transportation of stolen firearms and was on federal-supervised release after serving time for a federal conviction in 2013.
The 2016 investigation also revealed similarities between that burglary and liquor store burglaries in other counties for which Reddick was identified as a suspect after a DNA match linked him to one of the liquor stores.
The case for Reddick’s co-defendant is still pending in federal court.
The case — part of the Project CeaseFire initiative — was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Sumter County Sheriff’s Office; Newberry County Sheriff’s Office; South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division; Clinton Police Department; Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office; Richland County Sheriff’s Department; and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
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