According to information released by Buffalo Drug Task Force (BRDTF) Commander Troy Appel, more than half of the 42 guns allegedly stolen from a firearms shop in Vail, Iowa, have been recovered. Authorities are asking anyone who may have knowledge of the others to contact law enforcement.Soon after the theft (no allegedly here - the guns were stolen) of Pete's gun shop, a Vail, Iowa gun shop, in late May, the task force and the ATF were looking at Felix Mendez and Jose Osario-Mendez as suspects in the robbery.
Task force recovers stolen weapons
That investigation didn't stop the Mendez gang from robbing the First State Bank of Rushmore, MN in July. According to the timeline from the article, the task force spent the month of July and August searching two different properties and finding something new each time.
My first impression is that the task force doesn't know how to search a property. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe they are understaffed, or the batteries on their metal detector ran out. But it seems that they spent several trips and finding only shell casings or a few buried guns on each search. (Just wondering about that.)
Important to note is that the Mendez gang sold nearly half of the guns they allegedly stole from the Vail gun shop and the task force is asking for assistance from anyone who has purchased a firearm from these alleged criminal masterminds. Private sales still being legal here in Iowa, I would imagine that Attorney General Tom Miller will be making political hay of this very soon.
Another thought, if you are a known associate of these two and possibly have felony criminal record, wouldn't returning stolen property be difficult? Due to the fact that a felon isn't supposed to have a firearm in their possession.
Here's my time line of the summer:
May 31 - Pete's Gun Shop robbery
June 8 - ATF is lost so ask for help from this task force. All signs point to two morons
July 2 - authorities allegedly allow the Mendez pair to allegedly rob a bank and the pair are arrested
July/August - after numerous searches to alleged property of the alleged criminals the task force discover buried guns, shell casings, a dead cat in a shoe box and Blackbeard's treasure chest
Back to being serious, these guys were suspects very early after the initial gun shop theft. Two guys who probably have a long criminal record (one was convicted of attempted murder as a juvenile.) Maybe they should be put away for awhile.
One final thought, with all this searching to find guns buried under trees, and in the back yard, no mention of recovering money from the bank heist.
Hmmm, where's my shovel?