Suspect in Gun Shop Burglaries Appears in Court

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of breaking into gun shops on three, different occasions was back in Clearfield County Court.

Brett Andrew Moore, 25, is charged with criminal conspiracy/burglary, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, criminal mischief and firearms not to be carried without a license in relation to the burglary of L.B. Toney’s Alamo Gun Shop in DuBois on Aug. 28, 2013 and two burglaries of Bob’s Army & Navy Store in Clearfield in September of 2013.

Moore’s attorney, Ron Collins, filed a motion to suppress statements Moore made to authorities shortly after he was taken into custody for a probation violation. Collins is claiming Moore was not thinking clearly when he agreed to speak without an attorney and confessed.

Collins called Moore to testify regarding the events of Jan. 27. Moore said he was at home moving things into the attic when a probation officer and police came to his door. He was taken into custody for the violation of not reporting to the probation department. He was then taken to the DuBois City police station for questioning.

While in a holding cell, Moore said he was not given anything to eat or drink. He said he stood up to move around because he was cold. He felt lightheaded and then the next thing he knew he was on the floor. His glasses were off and he had hit his head. When he was asked if he was alright, he said he told them no.

Moore claimed he told a second officer he had hit his head, was vomiting and required medical attention. He was not checked by medical personnel that night.

After asking for treatment, he was told someone wanted to talk to him. He was interviewed by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Moore explained he didn’t have clear memories of that night, but he remembered the agents asking about the robberies and then they told him his wife had told them “everything.” It was at this point he said he asked for a lawyer.

Instead his wife was brought in and they spoke alone for a few minutes. Before he started talking to the agents again, his wife, Nicole, told them he wanted a lawyer, Moore claimed.

No lawyer was provided to him and the questioning continued. He was told if he confessed, he and his wife would both get probation sentences.

“They wanted me to ‘man up,’” he said and they kept talking about his duty to his wife.

“Did this affect you?” Collins asked.

Moore said it did and he felt he had no choice. Problems from his fall in the holding cell continued for another day. He said this definitely affected his statements that day.

Moore testified regarding injuries he received while he was in the military in Afghanistan. He was thrown out of his vehicle after a device exploded in it. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that causes him to have poor memory, slurred speech and problems with judgment.  He said that his dizziness and lightheadedness are from that injury.

District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. showed Moore his waiver of rights form and a waiver of attorney form during his cross examination. Moore identified the signature on the forms as his own. He also signed a form allowing officers to search his residence without a warrant. He told the agents where to find several items that were recovered as evidence.

Shaw also presented forms from Moore’s military record regarding his brain injury. This form showed ratings for his injury at the lowest levels. This included ratings for problems with judgment, motor activity, neural behavior and communication.

When questioned about his discharge from the army, Moore admitted he received a general discharge, which was not for medical reasons.

He was asked what he said to the ATF agents about getting an attorney and although Moore couldn’t remember exactly how he worded it, he said he did express a desire to have an attorney.

Special Agent Jeffrey Hagerty of the ATF testified that he questioned Moore about the three burglaries that evening. When presented with the form to waive his rights, Moore read it over, initialing each section as he agreed to speak with them.

“Did he say he wanted to talk to a lawyer?” Shaw asked. “Absolutely not,” Hagerty replied.

After he signed the form they spoke for about 40 minutes about Moore’s military background and drug use. He was told his wife had confessed, but Moore didn’t believe that. This was when they decided to let her talk with him alone.

As she was taken out, Hagerty said she commented that Moore may want to talk to a lawyer. Moore was told it was up to him if he wanted a lawyer. He just sat there and then agreed to speak with the agents.

They spoke for another hour after which he gave a statement confessing to the three burglaries.

“Was there any concern that he was unable to comprehend or was under the influence of anything?” Shaw asked to which Hagerty replied “no.”

Hagerty did agree Moore mentioned something about hitting his head but he showed no sign of an injury.

During cross examination, Collins asked if Moore had requested medical attention and Hagerty said no.

President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman asked both sides to submit briefs within 10 days on this issue. After reviewing the briefs, Ammerman will make a decision whether or not to suppress Moore’s confession and other statements.

The commonwealth also filed a motion to compel discovery in this case, which was granted, giving the defense until July 2 to provide information on any witnesses or experts the defense may use during the trial, which is scheduled for July 29-31.

According to the affidavit in the DuBois case, a security camera captured a man, whose face was covered by a hoodie, using a hammer to gain entry. He then broke through the interior door and smashed a display case. He put the guns in a duffel bag and fled. The burglary caused damage of over $5,800.

A joint investigation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms established the Moore couple as suspects after three, different witnesses told authorities that both Brett and Nicole Moore had told them they had committed the crimes.

The first Clearfield burglary occurred shortly before midnight Sept. 8, 2013 when someone broke through the glass front door of Bob’s Army & Navy Store on East Market Street, according to a previous Courier-Express article.

Security video shows a vehicle stopping in front of the business. An individual got out of the vehicle, smashed the glass in the front door, entered through the hole in the glass and smashed the glass in a display case containing numerous handguns. He then removed seven guns valued at more than $5,000.

Shortly after 11 p.m. Sept. 12, 2013, the store was robbed again. Video shows a vehicle approaching the front of the store. The suspect got out of the vehicle and used what appears to be a hammer to smash the glass in the front door. This time he removed seven guns valued at more than $3,700.

In addition to the stolen weapons, 35 guns inside the display case were damaged by broken glass embedded in rubber hand-grips, scratches and nicks. Total losses and damage in the two Bob’s Army & Navy store break-ins is estimated at $19,875.

Nicole Moore allegedly told police that she agreed to help her husband commit the burglaries to sell the guns for cash and drugs. She said she drove the vehicle in all three incidents.

Nicole Elaine Moore, 24, is charged with criminal conspiracy/burglary, criminal conspiracy/criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking, criminal conspiracy/receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy/criminal mischief and theft and receiving stolen property in connection to these crimes.

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