When you think of gun trafficking charges, you generally think of hit TV shows like The Sons of Anarchy. On the show, the bikers formed an uneasy alliance with the Irish Republican Army who manufactured guns for sale on American streets. The bikers made alliances with the cartel and were generally a mass distributor of weapons to criminal organizations. In other words, they dealt in quantity. While gun trafficking like this does occur, it is much more likely that weapons trafficking charges will take on a more modest form.
In one local case, four men were charged with the illegal sale of weapons on the streets to individual buyers. The guns were purchased at gun shows around the country, distributed to a St. Louis defendant who moved the guns into Chicago, where they were distributed to a street-level dealer who sold the guns on the black market. All of this is outside the regulatory framework of gun sales. That makes it illegal. However, it is much easier to pull off a scheme like this than it is to be responsible for managing international distribution over the ocean. Hence, it is much more common to see weapons trafficking charges take this form rather than criminal organizations acting as logistics to gun manufacturers.
From the Street Level Up
The case broke when police caught the street-level salesman attempting to sell weapons and a silencer to an undercover officer. The street-level dealer then likely turned on his Chicago-based distributor, who then turned on the St. Louis distributor, who ratted on the guy who was acquiring the guns at gun shows. All of these parties are charged with dealing firearms without a license, among other crimes.
The logistics of drug and weapons trafficking has the double danger of not only being quite difficult, expensive, and problematic, but if you get caught, you can also spend a significant amount of time in prison. In other words, each distributor takes significant risk along the way, but none as much as the street-level dealer who is forced to interact with individuals he does not know on a daily basis to make his money. In most cases, the street-level dealer is not only the weakest link, but the lowest person in terms of profits, as well. By the time the gun reaches them, it has been stepped on three times and three individuals have taken cuts from the sale. While illegal sales of guns tend to be more lucrative than above-board weapons sales, you can only draw so much blood from a single source. So, prosecutors offer the street-level dealer a deal. They say that they will reduce the charges or put in a good word with the judge if the dealer turns over their accomplices. The street-level dealer, sensing that they are both the most vulnerable and least compensated of all members of the conspiracy, refuse to go down for the other members. The conspiracy is unraveled with the help of a culprit. That, essentially, is how a case like this breaks.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing charges related to weapons trafficking or unlawful possession of a weapon, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.