323 GUNS STOLEN IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY, MANY LINKED STREET CRIMES

A major break in a case that connects multiple crimes across northwest Florida. This week, Escambia County deputies arrested a man wanted for selling stolen firearms. Kareem Tijuan Watson, 20, was booked into the Escambia County Jail on Monday and charged with dealing in stolen property. Watson is already out of jail on a $50,000 bond, but he is just one of many tied to the investigation into the stealing and dealing of more than 300 guns. Escambia County deputies say Jamarcus Bennett, Shawn Dale, and Anthony Brown broke into a home on Godwin Lane multiple times between September and December 2016. The men allegedly stole 323 firearms, including several AK-47s, AR-15s, shotguns, revolvers, Glocks and other handguns. The homeowners had reportedly been out of town for several months. Some of the guns were stored inside safes, one was broken into inside the house while two others were stolen. One of the stolen safes was later found in January 2017, in a burn barrel at a home on Amberidge Road, where Watson and his brother Akeem, who is currently in jail without bond, used to live. A few months later, a second safe was found, still sealed in a wooded area near Saxon and Cutter Streets. Thirteen guns were found inside. Bennett, Dale, and Brown were all eventually arrested and charged for their parts in the burglary. However, the stolen guns have since been linked to multiple crimes around Escambia County. Including a fatal shooting in 2016, on Montclair Road where 16-year-old Jaibreon Cook was shot in the head. Jordan Malik Dumas was arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection to that shooting. At least 12 others have been arrested in connection to the stolen firearms – some are convicted felons. We reached out to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for more information on this case. We also contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to find out how they handle cases of this magnitude. We will bring you additional details as soon as we get them.

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