15 charged in Chicago for gun trafficking to gangs

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2011 7:43 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Chicago on Thursday said they charged fifteen men with gun trafficking as part of a crackdown on illegal gun sales to gangs.

According to the indictments and criminal complaints, the men were allegedly part of a ring that purchased handguns, shotguns and assault rifles outside of Illinois and transported them to Chicago.

The defendants then allegedly sold the weapons for between $250 and $1600 each on the city's west and south sides to buyers they believed were gang members but who were in fact undercover police officers.

Thirteen of the defendants were arrested on Wednesday by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Task Force on Gangs as well as officers from the Chicago Police Department.

Two others avoided capture and are now the subjects of a nationwide manhunt, the FBI said.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher and Greg McCune)