Four people were arrested Thursday in connection with the theft and transfer of the gun used in the killing of Clay County Detective David White in February 2012.
During the murder investigation, investigators said they discovered that the firearm used in the killing, a .38 caliber revolver, was stolen in Jacksonville in May 2011. Investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that the weapon was stolen by Robert Apple II, 22, of Orange Park, then passed through the hands of Christopher Henderson, 21, of Middleburg, Curtis "Ping" Dingler, 19, of Middleburg, and Jack Lemond, 36, of Orange Park.
Investigators said all of the suspects knew the weapon was stolen.
"Whatever we did today could prevent a death tomorrow, and that's our job," Clay County Capt. Barry Abramowitz said of the arrests. "These are people that will not stop until we stop them."
Lemond (far right in group of mug shots) ultimately provided the weapon to Ted Tilley, a convicted felon, who used the weapon to shoot White and Detective Matthew Hanlin, investigators said. The gun was recovered at the scene.
White, Hanlin and other members of the Clay County Sheriff's Office were investigating possible methamphetamine production at Tilley's home on Alligator Boulevard in Middleburg. Tilley killed White and shot Hanlin before deputies killed him. Four others who were inside the home at the time were arrested.
Investigators said they ran the serial number on the gun and it came back as stolen out of Jacksonville. They said from there they conducted interviews to build their case.
"This is a long book that's been opened. This is a chapter of it that's being closed at this point in time," Abramowitz said. "We know where the gun came from. We do know that Ted Tilley wasn't supposed to have a gun. He got it anyway."
All four men arrested were charged with dealing stolen property and booked into the Clay County jail.