Three Fort Drum soldiers have been accused in federal court in connection with two recent gun shop burglaries.
Federal prosecutors charged Rian Patterson, 22, Devin Diggs, 20, and Tyrease Kimmons, 20, after nine guns were stolen from two licensed gun shops in the North County region over the last three weeks.
The first burglary was at Bowman’s Gun Shop in Gouvernuer on Sept. 4 at 1:20 a.m., prosecutors said in a press release. The burglars took five guns — two shotguns and three rifles — as well as several rounds of ammunition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Video surveillance from the shop showed two masked people wearing gloves force their way into the rear entrance of the shop, prosecutors said.
Something similar appeared to happen a couple weeks later.
Four guns — all pistols, this time — were taken from Graham’s Guns in De Kalb Junction on Sept. 29 at 1:10 a.m., prosecutors said.
Video captured by surveillance cameras there appeared to show two masked people break into the store.
A witness also told police they saw two people fleeing through neighboring yards, then heard a vehicle start and drive away.
Investigators used New York state’s license plate reader system to track a vehicle that was in the area at the time.
They learned the dark-colored sedan was registered to Diggs, a soldier stationed at Fort Drum.
Separately, on Oct. 1, Fort Drum officials conducted an investigation into drug activity within one of the units there. Officials searching the room of another solider, Patterson, found two of the pistols that had been reported stolen in the gun shop burglary days before.
Patterson admitted to planning the burglaries with Diggs and another soldier, Tyrese Kimmons, 20.
Diggs also admitted to his role in planning the burglaries. He said he drove to the gun shops and helped break in to steal the guns.
Kimmons denied helping plan the burglaries or participating in them.
He said he had spoken with the other two men about their plans, and allowed them to store the guns at his residence.
He admitted to keeping three of the guns for himself.
Patterson and Diggs, who live on the military base, were charged with conspiring to steal firearms from a licensed dealer.
Kimmons, who lives in Evans Mills but works at Fort Drum, was charged with knowingly receiving stolen firearms.
The three men are being held without bail pending a hearing. They all face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
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