Talk about a lucky break.
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents working on a string of firearm store robberies sighted the couple they were looking for while stopping off for coffee.
Nicole DiDonato of Western Michigan’s FOX 17 News reports in an exclusive interview with agents that Matteo Marroquin and Lacy Zimmerman were both addicted to methamphetamine and had broken into a large hardware store in the Holland, Michigan area.
The couple defeated the cable locks that tied the weapons together and made off with a large haul. An initial arrest occurred when Andrew Leenheer was contacted, and a large amount of meth and two stolen firearms were recovered. It was believed that these two guns were part of a group of at least 22 that were stolen.
“When these guns hit the street it’s very difficult, via time, the clock is ticking,” an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
He said their motivation was clear.
“It’s not surprising that that would motivate them, you know firearms are a commodity on the street, you know, two criminals, and if you’re trying to get drugs it’s one way other than a cash purchase. you can trade firearms for narcotics and get large amounts sometimes,” the agent said.
Deputies quickly involve federal agents and within a matter of hours, and the hunt to get 22 guns out of the hands of some very dangerous people began.
The agents got a great break in the case, but it appears that break came only because the agents were paying close attention to their surroundings and had studied the suspect’s photos and profiles.
“We were up there, we were checking specific addresses that we had connected to her, specifically. And going from one spot to the next, we did need a coffee refill and there’s a gas station at M-55 and M-37,” the agent said.
He said as they were pulling in, he was the passenger. He looked to the right and saw the car.
“We pulled up next to him and I stepped out of our vehicle and I said, ‘Matteo’ and he took off running.”
After a brief foot chase, agents arrested both 22-year-olds and found what they were searching for inside the car.
“Ultimately, we located 20 of the stolen firearms in his vehicle along with some methamphetamine which is really what fueled this particular burglary,” the agent said.
According to the interviewed agent, the weapons and a large amount of meth were sitting next to the couple’s baby – the baby was not injured during the crime of the arrest.
The couple was sentenced to 10 years in jail, despite numerous letters from Marroquin’s loved ones who claim he’s always been a family man and loving father but let his drug addiction get the best of him.
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In the meantime, a Milwaukee man is facing numerous charges after fabricating several stories after shooting his own daughter. Milwaukee Police responded to Children’s Wisconsin hospital for gunshot wound to a 4-year-old girl.
The girl had been shot in the foot and her father, Myles Kovacs, was treated for a graze wound on his buttock.
Police began investigating following the claim from the “victim” that there had been a public shooting.
Kovacs initially told police that he and his daughter were out for a birthday dinner for his sister when they were approached by three black males. He claimed they “looked like they wanted to kill him” Fox 6 Now’s Bret Lemoine and Katie Delong reported.
Kovacs told police that he heroically laid on top of his 4-year-old child, shielding her from the gun fire. He reported hearing multiple shots fired.
However, Kovacs story quickly changed and he then claimed that they were visiting his sister when the girl asked to go to the park. The amenable father was taking her bicycle out of his car when a black man pulled up in a truck pulled alongside him.
He claimed the man pointed a gun at Kovacs demanding the car and the content of Kovacs pockets. The brave father then scooped up his daughter and began running, attempting to save them both, when they were shot by the stranger, according to Lemoine and Delong.
Investigators searched both scenes and found no evidence that any shootings had occurred at either location. Next they went to the Kovacs family home where they not only found ballistic evidence of a shooting but also blood.
They also encountered a 14-year-old sibling of the little girl who admitted that the shooting happened inside the home. He recounted that he had been asleep when he heard screaming, Lemoine and Delong report. He went downstairs to find his little sister bleeding and crying.
Kovacs sister arrived at the home and the teen reports that Kovacs told his sister that the little girl had been playing with a gun and shot them both. The young man told police that the gun was typically stored in the glove compartment of another adult sibling’s vehicle.
Police located the 18-year-old brother who admitted that Kovacs kept the gun in his car but it was not in the vehicle the morning of the shooting.
Police returned to further question Kovacs after discovering the scene in the home. Kovacs then admitted that the shooting did, in fact, happen at home. He admitted to police that he was a drug dealer.
He stated that at the time of the shooting, he had been napping on the couch with his daughter. He suddenly woke to find two masked black men standing over him with a gun pointed. They demanded money which Kovacs refused. So, in an attempt to divert the intruders, he threw something and again dove on top of his daughter to protect her when the shots were fired.
He further claimed that he lied about the previous scenarios because he didn’t want the girl’s mother to be mad at him for dealing drugs.
Kovac was held overnight and questioned again the next day when he became emotional, according to Lemoine and Delong. At that point, he said to police:
“I (expletive) up. I did it,” stating that the gun was “long gone,” and further admitting that he “should’ve never had that (expletive).”
Prosecutors advised Kovacs of the charges that would be brought against him and Kovacs attempted to change the story again. He then stated he needed to rest and would reveal the location of the gun and the full truth once he had done so.
Kovacs had a history of gun charges and, in 2012, was convicted of possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent. Charges from this incident include obstructing an officer, possession of a firearm by a felon and child neglect resulting in bodily harm.
Kovacs had his first court appearance for the obstruction charge to which he has plead not guilty, Lemoine and Delong report.
When questioned by police, the four year old girl initially collaborated Kovacs story that they had been shot by someone else. She also stated that she was responsible, claiming:
“I shot the trigger on my daddy’s gun.”
When police asked the little girl if it was important to tell the truth, the child answered “no.”