PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — DaJuan Edwards-Melton, 21, has been sentenced to an aggregate 37 months in federal prison for his part in a theft of a Bloomington gun store last December.

According to evidence presented in the case, Edwards-Melton was driven by a juvenile girl with her infant child from Peoria to Bloomington Dec. 12, 2021. They were also with two juvenile males.

The group first traveled to Midwest Exchange, a firearms dealer in Bloomington, and attempted to break in. They were unable to do so. They then moved on to Smiley’s Sports Shop where they broke a window, entered the business, and stole 24 handguns and an AR-15 rifle.

The group returned to Peoria with the stolen weapons, which were delivered to acquaintances of the perpetrators.

Edwards-Melton was arrested on Dec. 13, charged with burglary of a federally licensed firearms dealer and for possession of stolen firearms. He was in possession of one stolen handgun, and two others were discovered by police during the search of a Peoria residence.

To date, only six of the 25 stolen weapons have been located. These guns have been linked to other crimes in the area, including an armed carjacking and the shooting of a 13-year-old boy.

Edwards-Melton was indicted by a federal grand jury in Dec. 2021 and entered a guilty plea to both counts in March 2022.

The statutory penalties are up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release for each count. Edwards-Melton will serve three years of supervised release upon the end of his time in prison.

The case investigation was conducted by the Bloomington and Peoria Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.