Gun thieves sentenced

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:59 PM

Joseph Jerry Sweet, 33, and Patrick Cook, 28, were sentenced this week in federal court in Grand Rapids. Sweet was ordered to serve 15 years, eight months in prison. Cook was given a 13-year sentence.

Both men faced sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

The men were also ordered to pay more than $23,000 in restitution for unrecovered firearms and damage to the stores.

The thieves broke into Renegade River, 106 W. Savidge St. in Spring Lake, during the night of June 27, 2013, and stole eight pistols.

Early on July 13, 2013, they broke into Grasmeyer Brothers Gun & Supply Shop in Muskegon County’s Dalton Township and took 20 handguns and four rifles. Nine of the guns were later recovered.

Police said most of the remaining firearms were sold or traded to drug dealers, including an individual who was the defendant’s main heroin supplier.

The joint investigation was conducted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department; Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department; Grand Haven Department of Public Safety; and the West Michigan Enforcement Team.

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