By JOSH NEWTON
Two Tahlequah men will spend several years in a federal prison for conspiring to possess stolen firearms they allegedly helped steal during a home burglary in Cherokee County in 2011.
Both men were indicted in federal court on the conspiracy charges. Tyler Brent Stacey, 20, was given 60 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Mohammad “Moe” Ziyada, 21, was sentenced to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, both were ordered to pay more than $76,000 in restitution. Neither man’s sentences offer a chance at parole.
Investigators say Ziyada and Stacey worked with other people to burglarize a home in southern Cherokee County in 2011. Deputies and investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office started looking into the burglary in late 2011, and other state and federal agencies assisted as leads developed.
Prosecutors allege those who were involved in the burglary stole around 50 firearms from Steven Ecker, a former police officer and member of the special forces. Suspects allegedly concealed, stored, bartered, sold or otherwise disposed of those guns. Investigators were able to get a portion of the guns back from one man who came forward during the investigation, but others are still unaccounted for.
Ziyada and Stacey also were charged – along with 19-year-old Jacob Taylor Chuckluck – with second-degree burglary in Cherokee County District Court.
Court documents indicate the three have blamed each other for the home burglary. Others who were believed to have been involved in the theft were juveniles at the time, and have not been charged.
Ziyada and Stacey will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal Service pending transportation to designated federal prisons.