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Articles Posted in Weapons Charges

Chicago PD announced a new team that will target straw purchasers for guns. Essentially, felons or others who would otherwise be prevented from applying for a gun permit pay someone else to perform the transaction for them. The straw buyer then gives the weapon to the felon who now has a gun. According to Chicago police, this is how a large number of weapons sold outside of Chicago end up on Chicago streets. 

The federal-local team will consist of Chicago P.D. and the ATF. Investigators are focusing on gun traffickers, straw purchasers, and unscrupulous gun store owners who do less than the legal requirement to ensure their buyers are legitimate.

Illegal Gun Sales at Legal Gun Stores

The officer is okay. He was shot in the vest. The woman who fired the bullets, however, was critically injured in the exchange of gunfire. She was charged with attempted murder, weapons crimes, and aggravated battery. On Monday, she accepted a plea for aggravated battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Good behavior credits plus time served mean that she could be out in as little as four years. Had the defendant been convicted of attempted murder, she would have faced a minimum sentence of 26 years. 

What Happened?

Two plainclothes officers witnessed the defendant during a suspected drug deal. One officer called the defendant over for questioning. She immediately ran. The officer gave chase. When he was about to catch up with her, she turned around and shot him. The bullet penetrated a flashlight on his vest and then also penetrated the vest leaving a scar on his body near his heart. The officers returned fire but critically wounded the defendant who survived her injuries to stand trial. She was expected to plead innocent and then defend herself at trial, but a last-minute plea deal subverted the effort.

Three soldiers out of Fort Campbell have been charged with purchasing and selling weapons, some of which were used in violent homicides in Chicago, according to NPR. The three men are enlisted U.S. Army members from Fort Campbell which is home to the 101st Airborne Division. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and the ATF teamed up to make the arrests. 

The trio has been charged with a slew of crimes related to the illegal trafficking of weapons. These will be charged as federal crimes. These include transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident, making false statements concerning the acquisition of a firearm, wire fraud, money laundering, and other charges related to the scheme. 

Prosecutors have identified the ring leader as 24-year-old Brandon Miller. Prosecutors have asked that Miller be denied bond as he allegedly poses a significant flight risk.

Strange headline, but nonetheless, true. A Gary Councilman (Ronald G. Brewer), who had his Lexus stolen, tracked the thieves back to Chicago where he caught up with them. He was accused of discharging his weapon at the teens, confining them against their will, and taking one of the teens back to Gary with him. The charges against him have all been dismissed after the former councilman completed a pretrial diversion program. It is unclear what that pretrial diversion was, but it very easily could have been an anger management program.

At the time of the incident, Brewer was the president of the Gary city council.

Where is the Crime?

Adam Toledo is among the latest victims of police violence, but bodycam footage shows the officer making a split-second decision as Toledo turned around. Toledo had deposited the gun behind a fence and was no longer holding it when the officer discharged his weapon. He had put his hands up, and in the heat of the moment, the officer shot him. The officer involved in the shooting will not face any charges related to Toledo’s death. The same cannot be said for the 21-year-old, Ruben Roman, who allegedly gave Toledo the gun.

What Police Think Happened

Roman and Toledo were together. Roman was discharging his weapon. The sound startled nearby residents, who called the police. Roman knew that the police were coming, so he gave the weapon to a 13-year-old who would not face charges. Roman had already faced weapons charges and was on gun probation at the time of the incident. So that is how the 13-year-old ended up with the weapon. The 13-year-old is running around with the weapon, police order him to drop it and put his hands up, and even though he complies, they shoot. Toledo dies.

File this one under Crime in the 21st Century. A teen live-streamed himself smoking pot with a gun in his lap after eluding police during a traffic stop. Antonio Butler has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, and more. Prosecutors also hinted that the crime spree was still under investigation, and that the teen may face additional charges. Since Butler is 18 years of age, he will be tried as an adult. 

The Spree

The Audi was stolen on March 25. It was then reported in an armed robbery, but Butler was able to get away. Later that day, the Audi was reported in two gas station robberies, a carjacking, and another armed robbery. Police eventually caught up with the vehicle and found Butler asleep inside. They tapped on the window to wake him up and then broke through the window to get him out. Butler hit the gas and drove the Audi into police vehicles, before successfully fleeing the scene. He then posted a video to Instagram showing him smoking marijuana with a gun in his lap while bragging about losing the police.

A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over. 

At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder after thwarting an attempted burglary on his vehicle. The assailant, Lazaro Vaquez was reportedly cruising with his girlfriend to find someone to rob. He crossed paths with Adam Woods, who was not having it.

Video surveillance shows Vazquez approaching the car, but then appearing startled as Woods exited with a gun. Vazquez could be seen turning around and running. It was then that Woods fired four shots into Vazquez’s back, killing him. 

Is This a Legitimate Murder Charge?

Many of those who engaged in the violent protest that ended the life of one D.C. officer and several protesters are facing federal charges right now. Their faces and names are appearing all over social media and their identities are being revealed. In cases in which the federal government refuses to file charges, the individuals are being held accountable by the companies for which they work. One Chicago-area CEO discovered this the hard way.

Bradley Rukstales is one of the protesters who are facing federal charges stemming from the Capitol riot. He has also lost his job as CEO of the tech company Cogensia. A spokesperson for the company said Rukstales was terminated on Friday, effective immediately. The Vice President and COO of the company will take over Rukstales’ duties.

The company issued a statement that said that Rukstales’ actions were not consistent with the core values of the company. Rukstales is also facing federal charges for unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

President Trump’s “Operation Legend” has been underway now for about six weeks. In that time, federal agents have charged looters, rioters, and others with 42 felonies (and counting). Surprisingly, however, the feds appear to be targeting felons with illegal weapons. 

The feds, of course, are assuring the media that there are several anti-gang operations happening right now. These operations involve confidential informants, aerial surveillance, and dangerous street work. However, looking at the numbers, the majority of those who have been charged during Operation Legend are felons in possession of weapons. 

Feds Target Man Parked 12 Inches From Curb

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