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Durham illegal gun operation busted, stolen gun returned to owner

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Deputies with the Durham Sheriff's Anti-Crime and Narcotics Unit arrested a man Thursday on charges of receiving and selling stolen guns after a weeks-long investigation.

Michael Desean Tucker, 25, of 721 Eva Street in Durham, has been charged with three counts of possession of a stolen firearm and one count of felony possession of stolen property. 

Just days before Tucker was arrested, someone broke into an apartment complex in Durham and stole two firearms from the person living there.

WNCN talked to the victim of that break-in. He said someone broke through his backdoor and stole an estimated $10,000 worth of belongings. The victim filed a police report and gave them the serial numbers to his weapons.

Deputies searched Tucker's home Thursday and found four semi-automatic pistols, three 9mm and one .40 caliber. Three of the guns had been reported as stolen. An AK-47, approximately 1,000 rounds of stolen ammunition, a gas mask and a number of gun accessories including high-capacity magazines and a rifle scope were also recovered.

After the bust, deputies ran the serial numbers of the stolen guns through a special database law enforcement agencies use to keep track of possibly stolen items. The search identified a match. One of the guns recovered in the bust was the gun stolen from the apartment days before.

"I was very happy, I never expected to see any of my items again, especially my firearms," said the victim. "I'm just glad they got it off the streets so it wasn't used illegally."

"We are aware this type of stuff is going on in Durham," said Deputy Paul Sherwin, "We are actively investigating these cases using undercover investigators, confidential informants, and tips from the community. You can't run for ever we'll find you eventually," he said.

Tucker was arrested under a $100,000 bond.

Deputies say it's very important to keep track of serial numbers on your belongings in case any of them are ever stolen.

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