Over 90 Firearms Illegally Sent from Kentucky and Tennessee to Streets of Chicago
Nine members of the Pocket Town faction of the Gangster Disciples street gang now face federal conspiracy charges along with three U.S. Army soldiers connected with an alleged gun-running operation bringing firearms to Chicago from Tennessee and Kentucky. YouTube Tips ⓘ
A 21-count superseding indictment unsealed Wednesday, 30, 2022, charges 12 individuals with conspiring to violate federal firearms statutes, including engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license; transporting and receiving firearms into another state; making false statements to a federally licensed firearm dealer; conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes and to use and carry firearms in relation to crimes of violence; and conspiring to commit money laundering, as well as other related substantive offenses.
“The Justice Department recognizes that fighting violent crime requires approaches tailored to the needs of individual communities. But gun violence can be a problem that is too big for any one community, any one city, or any one agency to solve. That is why our approach to disrupting gun violence and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals rests on the kind of coordination you see here today.”
— Attorney General Merrick B. Garland
Wednesday morning, March 30, 2022, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) and officers from the Chicago Police Department and the Davenport, Iowa, Police Department began arresting those charged in the indictment. As of Friday morning, April 1, 2022, six of those charged are in custody and the remaining defendants are currently being sought by law enforcement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois will handle the initial appearances by all defendants before they are transferred to the Middle District of Tennessee for further proceedings.
In July 2021, Demarcus Adams, 21; Jarius Brunson, 22; and Brandon Miller, 22, were enlisted members of the U.S. Army and stationed at the Fort Campbell military installation in Clarksville, Tennessee. They were charged by indictment with crimes stemming from the purchase and transfer of dozens of firearms to the streets of Chicago. In addition to these defendants, this superseding indictment charges the following nine individuals in the conspiracies and other substantive offenses: Blaise Smith, 29; Rahaeem Johnson, aka Rah, 24; Bryant Larkin, 33; Corey Curtis, 26; Elijah Tillman, 24; Lazarus Greenwood, aka Zarro, 23; Dwight Lowry, aka Ike, 41; Dreshion Parks, 25, all of Chicago; and Terrell Mitchell, 27, of Davenport, Iowa.
The indictment alleges that the new defendants are members of the Gangster Disciples street gang in the Pocket Town neighborhood of Chicago. Between December 2020 and April 2021, the defendants conspired to purchase and deliver over 90 illegally obtained firearms to the Chicago area to facilitate the ongoing violent disputes between the Pocket Town Gangster Disciples and their rival gangs.
The indictment further alleges the methods used by co-conspirators to purchase firearms from federally licensed firearms dealers in the Clarksville, Tennessee and Oak Grove, Kentucky areas, which included communicating via text messages to coordinate the purchase and delivery of firearms to the Chicago area; providing false information on firearms purchase application forms; and using online apps to facilitate payment for the illegal transfer of firearms. On one occasion, the indictment alleges that in addition to several firearms available for sale, Brandon Miller had 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition available for purchase.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison on one or more of the charged counts.
The announcement was made by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland; U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee; U.S. Attorney John Lausch for the Northern District of Illinois; Special Agent in Charge Mickey French of the ATF Nashville Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Kristen de Tineo of the ATF Chicago Field Division; Karen Wingerd, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of IRS-CI, Charlotte Field Office; and Assistant Director Guy Surian for Investigations and Operations, U.S. Army – Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
Justice Department on Friday, April 1, 2022 announces superseding indictment charging 12 in gun-running conspiracy to supply firearms to gang members in Chicago (32:40/United States Department of Justice). YouTube Tips ⓘ
A .40-caliber Glock used in the shooting death of rapper Gregory Jackson III (‘Lil Greg’) at Studio Nineteen barbershop, 1931 South State Street, on January 28, 2021 was also traced to the gun trafficking case. The serial number on the Glock handgun was listed in a Chicago police report, matching one of the illegally-obtained guns purchased and delivered to the Chicago area that the U.S. soldiers are accused of selling.
This case is being investigated by the ATF-Nashville, Chicago, and Des Moines Divisions; the U.S. Army-CID; the IRS-CI – Charlotte and Chicago Field Offices; the Clarksville, Tenn. Police Department; the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center; and the Davenport, Iowa Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Josh Kurtzman and Kathryn Risinger are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, according to the Department of Justice.
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
Three Fort Campbell Soldiers Charged In Illegal Gun Pipeline To Chicago
Guns Found at Mass Shooting Scene at 79th Street and Western Avenue in Chicago Traced to Purchases in Fort Campbell Area
NASHVILLE – Three Fort Campbell soldiers were charged Tuesday, May 11, 2021 with conspiracy and offenses relating to the illegal purchase and transfer of dozens of firearms to the streets of Chicago, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Demarcus Adams, 21; Jarius Brunson, 22; and Brandon Miller, 22, all enlisted members of the U.S. Army and stationed at the Fort Campbell military installation in Clarksville, Tennessee, were arrested Tuesday morning, May 11, 2021 by ATF agents and agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. A criminal complaint obtained late yesterday charged each defendant with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident; making false statements during the purchase of a firearm; engaging in the business without a firearms license; wire fraud; money laundering; and conspiracy to commit Title 18 offenses.
According to the criminal complaint, this investigation began on Friday, March 26, 2021, when Chicago police responded to a mass shooting incident at a storefront at 2515 West 79th Street near the intersection of 79th Street and Western Avenue. During the mass shooting at a pop-up party, eight people were shot and wounded, and one person — shot in the head — was pronounced dead at the scene. During the resulting investigation, multiple firearms were recovered from the shooting scene and five of the firearms were found to have been recently purchased from Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers in the Clarksville, Tennessee area. Further investigation identified Demarcus Adams, Jarius Brunson and Brandon Miller as the majority purchasers of these firearms.
The mass shooting was the second mass shooting in March 2021 in Chicago.
A broader investigation into firearms transaction records from FFLs in the Clarksville region determined that since September 2019, the trio had purchased 91 firearms from multiple FFLs in Clarksville; Oak Grove, Kentucky; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Paducah, Kentucky. The majority of the firearms were purchased during the last five months. The criminal complaint also alleges that after the firearms were purchased, Miller would provide them to individuals he was associated with in Chicago.
On April 28, 2021, a federal search warrant was executed at the home of Miller and Adams in Clarksville, where 49 empty firearms cases were recovered. Many of these empty cases were matched to firearms recovered by the Chicago Police Department at the scene of recent shootings and homicides.
The defendants will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Nashville Later this afternoon. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division; and the Chicago Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Kurtzman is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.