A 31-year-old worker at a Minnesota freight transportation company is accused of stealing 40 guns from weapons shipments destined for firearms dealers.
Jason Thomas Cikotte, of Isanti, is charged in federal court with one count of possession of stolen firearms, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota said Monday. He made his first court appearance on March 25.
According to court documents, Cikotte, while working overnights as a weight inspector at XPO Logistics in Fridley, stole dozens of guns from weapons shipments being sent to federal firearm licensees.
Authorities searched Cikotte's home on March 23, where they found 40 guns, as well as ammunition and firearms parts, charges said. Cikotte admitted to stealing the items from XPO Logistics.
In August 2021, XPO Logistics reported to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that several guns had been stolen from shipments, charges said. And on March 9, the company reported to ATF that an additional 11 guns were stolen from a recent shipment, including a One Century Armsmodel Draco NAK 9 9mm semiautomatic AK pistol, five Canik model Rival 9mm semiautomatic pistols, and five Canik model Rival 9mm semiautomatic pistols.
The manager of corporate security at XPO Logistics told ATF investigators on March 16 he'd identified Cikotte as the person who stole the guns on March 9, and he believed Cikotte was responsible for several other thefts at XPO Logistics spanning nearly a year, charges said. The security manager noted Cikotte has "little to no supervision" while he's at work.
Surveillance video showed Cikotte at about 9:47 p.m. on March 9 opening up a pallet of boxes containing firearms, removing some of the boxes and putting them in a nearby trailer, and then shrinkwrapping the opened pallet with another pallet, charges said. This is not part of Cikotte's normal job duties, the company told ATF.
Cikotte is then seen on surveillance video going into the trailer and coming out carrying something, before heading to the employee parking area. A few hours later, he's spotted on video going back into the trailer and coming out carrying boxes, which he brings to the office, charges said. He's later seen leaving the office with a large duffel bag and walking to the employee parking lot.
The pallet Cikotte removed boxes from is the same pallet from which the 11 guns were stolen, charges said.
The security manager at XPO Logistics told ATF Cikotte was also captured on video on March 10 removing boxes from pallets before his shift began. Five Ruger 6.5 Creedmoor rifles were reported stolen from that pallet, charges said.
Authorities searched Cikotte's home in Isanti on March 23, where they found about 40 guns, all of which appeared to be stolen from XPO Logistics, as well as tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition and miscellaneous firearms parts and accessories, charges said.
Cikotte admitted to investigators he stole the firearms, ammunition and firearms parts from XPO Logistics, court documents state.