GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who stole dozens of guns from a Cedar Springs store nearly three years ago and then threatened witnesses will spend 42 years in a federal prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff called 40-year-old Charles Skipp a “one-man crime spree” as she handed down his sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids said in a Tuesday release.
The release said Skipp, who was indicted in October, pleaded guilty in February to 10 federal felonies:
- Being a felon in possession of firearms,
- Stealing firearms from a licensed firearm dealer,
- Retaliating against a witness,
- Discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,
- Knowing transfer of firearms for use in a crime of violence,
- Aiding and abetting retaliating against an informant,
- Aiding and abetting arson in the commission of a federal felony,
- Attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin,
- Discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime,
- Knowing transfer of a firearm for use in a drug trafficking crime.
The charges are linked to the break-in at the Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs in November 2017. According to court documents, thieves sawed their way through a loading dock door and then into display cases, taking every gun they could get their hands on — 89 of them.
Many of those guns have never been recovered.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also says after the break-in, in an attempt to keep from getting caught, Skipp shot at the witnesses’ home and then set it on fire.
He also used one of the stolen guns to shoot a drug dealer during a robbery, authorities say.
“The 42-year sentence sends an unmistakable message to anyone else who might embark on a way of life in which one dangerous crime begets another and so on: Your spree will end with you in prison for decades; so don’t even start,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement.
Before the Cedar Springs break-in, Skipp already has a criminal history that included weapons, assaulted and armed robbery convictions.