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Batavia man charged with stealing more than a dozen firearms from gun store in Bergen, NY

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Morgan R. Coles, 20, of Batavia, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with stealing from a federal firearm licensee, and possession of a defaced firearm. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on September 26, 2018, the defendant forcibly entered The Firing Pin, a Federal Firearms Licensee located at 8240 Buffalo Road in Bergen, NY. Coles made entry through a gable vent located on the roof of the building.
On September 27, 2018, an ATF Special Agent reviewed video surveillance, provided by the owner, of the break in. The video shows the defendant entering the retail portion of The Firing Pin from the range area, and is seen removing 14 firearms from the shelf and appears to place them into a bag. The video also shows Coles using a light, possibly from a cell phone, to navigate around the retail area. The surveillance video shows the defendant exiting the store through the range area.
On October 3, 2018, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for the residence of Coles on Jackson Street in Batavia, as well as another residence and a vehicle associated with the defendant. During the execution of search warrants, officers located 15 handguns at Coles's residence. Fourteen of the handguns had obliterated serial numbers. According to the complaint, the handguns found at the defendant's residence appear to match the descriptions of the handguns stolen from The Firing Pin.
Coles was arrested and charged in City Court of Batavia in Genesee County with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, a Class B felony.
The defendant will make an initial appearance on October 17, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr., and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.