Four men whom allegedly at one point had their hands on a stolen gun that was eventually used to kill a Clay County detective are now facing significant prison time. All four were charged with Clay County dealing in stolen property, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police tracked the gun using its serial number and several interviews with witness, the newspaper reported, and this case shows how wide of a net police can cast in a gun case.
Last year, one Clay County detective was killed and another injured when they were raiding a suspected meth lab and Ted Tilley opened fire from inside the home. Tilley tried to run away and was eventually shot and killed by police. Several people in the home were charged with murder in connection with White's death. But the trail did not end there. Police then targeted the gun Tilley used and traced it to being reported stolen out of Jacksonville in 2011. The gun changed hands four times, with everyone involved knowing the gun was stolen, the newspaper reported. The last person with the gun gave it to Tilley, a convicted felon who would not have been legally permitted to own or even possess a firearm.
All four men were arrested in Clay County last week and booked into the county jail in this Clay County Gun Crimes case. Three had bonds set at $50,000 and the fourth at $100,000, showing the weight the state is placing on this case. In order to prove someone is guilty of dealing in stolen property in Florida, the state must show the person either knew or reasonably should have known that the item in question was stolen. It's not clear in this case if the men were selling the gun each time it changed hands but, in this case, that is not relevant. Typically, this crime is charged when people are stealing items from businesses or homes and then selling the items. But in this Clay County Gun Crimes case it was used to show the trail of the gun and make all parties who touched it along the way responsible in the death. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were both involved in the investigation.
Clay County Gun Crimes cases are serious and, as this case shows, any connection with a stolen gun can lead to serious consequences down the road - even if you or your loved one never pulls the trigger. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Clay County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Gun Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.