Teens to prison over guns stolen from Rural King

Teens to prison over guns stolen from Rural King

URBANA — Two Champaign teens responsible for two dozen stolen guns being distributed around Champaign County have each been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Both Jailyne Roberts, 18, of the 300 block of West Eureka Street, and Joseph W. Tate, 19, of the 1400 block of Honeysuckle Lane, pleaded guilty Thursday morning before Champaign County Judge Harry Clem to aggravated possession of stolen firearms.

In exchange for their guilty pleas to that count, other charges alleging that they burglarized the Rural King Supply store, 913 W. Marketview Drive, C, on Aug. 25 and Sept. 3 were dismissed.

The teens however, admitted that they stole a .22-caliber rifle from the store on Aug. 25, and then returned on Sept. 3, and stole 23 handguns.

In both cases, the store was forcibly entered after closing. In the latter break-in, a display case was shattered to get to the guns.

The pair was identified from surveillance photos taken in the store.

Only 10 of the handguns have been recovered by Champaign police. Some have been used in other crimes in Champaign and Urbana, including an armed robbery and carjacking. The rifle has not been recovered, police said.

The charge to which Roberts and Tate pleaded guilty carried a mandatory prison term of between six and 50 years. They are eligible for day-for-day good time, meaning they could be out in about three years since each was given credit for 88 days already served in the county jail.

Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark said Tate's only prior conviction was for misdemeanor possession of cannabis. Roberts had a prior misdemeanor conviction for possession of a firearm without a firearm owner's identification card.

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