Four Local Men Sentenced for Roles in Pawn Shop Burglaries

By Beacon Staff

Four Flathead County men were sentenced in federal court for their roles in two burglaries in which they stole 16 firearms from two local pawn shops in 2012.

Joseph Allen Lesmeister, Jr., 23, of Kalispell; Virgil Duane Matt, 21, of Columbia Falls; Larry Charles McCormick, 21, of Columbia Falls; and Joshua James McCormick, 19, of Flathead County were sentenced in U.S. Federal Court in Missoula on Sept. 11.

After pleading guilty to being in possession of stolen firearms, all four men received five years of probation and six months of house arrest, along with $7,319 in restitution. Lesmeister, Matt, and Larry McCormick also received 400 hours of community service; Joshua McCormick was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

According to the Montana District U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Wooden Nickel Pawn Shop was burglarized on May 20, 2012, and eight firearms were stolen. About a month later on June 22, the Anything Pawn Shop was hit, resulting in 16 stolen firearms.

Prosecutors say the four men ended up with 16 of the stolen firearms; Matt and Lesmeister with 10 stolen firearms from Anything Pawn Shop, and Joshua McCormick had four of stolen firearms – three from Anything Pawn Shop and one from Wooden Nickel Pawn.

The fate of two of the firearms stolen from Anything Pawn remains unknown.

On July 16 and 17, 2012, law enforcement seized 11 firearms stolen from Anything Pawn Shop from Matt and Lesmeister. Matt admitted that he, Lesmeister, Joshua McCormick, and Larry McCormick burglarized Anything Pawn Shop. Authorities also recovered stolen firearms from the Wooden Nickel from Matt and Lesmeister.

Ten days later, law enforcement personnel bought a firearm from Joshua McCormick. During their interaction with the McCormick brothers, law enforcement seized two firearms stolen from the Anything Pawn Shop. The McCormicks admitted their roles in the Anything Pawn Shop burglary, prosecutors say.

The investigation into the four men was a cooperative effort among the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the Kalispell Police Department, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.