Peoria Man, Corey A. Brooks Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for 2021 Burglary of Pinnacle Gun and Ammo
A Peoria, Illinois, man, Corey A. Brooks, 30, of the 600 block of SW Adams Street, was sentenced on June 29, 2022, to 63 months in prison for burglarizing a gun store and possessing firearms as a felon. Brooks will also serve three years of supervised release upon his release from prison.
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that early in the morning of July 7, 2021, Brooks shattered a window at a federal firearms licensee known as Pinnacle Gun and Ammo, located in the 700 block of Main Street in Peoria. Brooks then climbed into the business through the window and stole 18 handguns and two shotguns, leaving through the back door of the business and fleeing from the scene on foot.
Surveillance footage and drops of blood left behind by Brooks enabled the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Peoria Police to trail and identify Brooks and locate the two shotguns, which had been abandoned in a wooded area. A photograph was released to the public, and Brooks was identified and arrested the same day. At the time of his arrest, Brooks was in possession of one of the stolen handguns. The gun was loaded with ammunition. Brooks was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to his four prior felony convictions.
In a post-arrest interview, Brooks admitted that financial gain was the motive for the burglary. He refused to provide information about the location of the 17 stolen weapons. Brooks stated that he was not troubled by the potential for the weapons to be used in further crimes against members of the community.
Also at the sentencing hearing, the government stated that law enforcement recovered three of the stolen guns in a garage in Peoria on July 8, 2021, and, later that day, 11 more guns were located by a young child in a pillowcase in an alley in a residential part of the city. Finally, another one of the stolen guns was recovered during a traffic stop in Peoria in December 2021.
At the time it was recovered, the firearm was loaded and equipped with an extended high-capacity magazine and was in the possession of a documented gang member with a prior felony conviction. In total, law enforcement has recovered 18 of the 20 guns stolen by Brooks from Pinnacle on July 7, 2021.
Brooks was indicted in July 2021 and entered a plea of guilty in March of this year.
“Stolen guns are crime guns. They fuel illicit trafficking and are used by violent criminals to terrorize our communities,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ronald L. Hanna. “Individuals who burglarize federal firearms licensees will face federal prosecution.”
“When firearms are stolen from Federal Firearms Licensees, they enter the illegal market and most often become crime guns,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division Kristen deTineo. “This case is an excellent example how not only law enforcement and prosecutors work together hold traffickers accountable, but also how important the community is in assisting to identify those responsible.”
The Peoria Police Department and ATF investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Brooks was brought as part of The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. The Department’s renewed commitment to Project Safe Neighborhoods establishes four fundamental principles to guide efforts to reduce violent crime: 1) build trust and legitimacy within communities; 2) invest in community-based prevention and intervention programs; 3) target enforcement and priorities to focus resources on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting the most significant drivers of gun violence and other violent crime; and, 4) measure results with the goal to reduce the level of violence in our communities and not to increase the number of arrests and prosecutions as if they were ends in themselves.