Michael Rink, 34, of Centralia, Illinois, pleaded guilty Thursday, in United States District Court to a conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Rink faces up to five years in federal prison.
Rink was investigated following his role in the November 29, 2014, burglary of Buchheit’s of Centralia. In that burglary, forty firearms and more than a thousand of rounds of ammunition were stolen. Dakota Moss, also of Centralia, was sentenced to 248 months of imprisonment on September 11, 2015, for committing that burglary. A juvenile accomplice was prosecuted separately in state court.
Court records established that Michael Rink drove his co-defendants around helping conceal and transport the stolen firearms between locations. Rink agreed to accept money for providing transportation while the stolen guns were being moved from place to place and for agreeing to drive co-defendant Justin Gibson for the purpose of selling stolen firearms. Two of the guns stolen during the Buchheit’s burglary were eventually transferred from the juvenile accomplice to co-defendant Terrell Cleggett. Cleggett later sold the two firearms to his friend and co-defendant, Brandon Hoskins.
Thirty-eight of the stolen firearms were eventually recovered by law enforcement officials, including the two firearms included in this prosecution. Co-defendant Hoskins was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment on December 13, 2016. Co-defendant Cleggent is awaiting sentencing which is currently scheduled for February 21, 2017. Co-defendant Justin Gibson also recently pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20, 2017.
The investigation is being conducted by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the Centralia Police Department, along with the Clinton County States Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.