Wide net cast in crackdown on Chicago gang crime

Even those who don't pull the trigger can get caught up in Chicago's campaign against violent crime

It's nearly impossible to open the paper or turn on the news these days and not see a story about violent crime in Chicago. Indeed, Chicago street violence has become such a high-profile issue that U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon recently announced the formation of a special federal law enforcement unit designed to target violent crime.

It's not just those who are suspected of committing a murder or assault who are being targeted. Law enforcement is also cracking down on individuals and organizations suspected of providing Chicago's street gangs with illegal firearms.

A recently publicized conviction illustrates just how significant the penalties for firearms trafficking can be.

Chicago Man Convicted Of Firearms Trafficking

In May, a man from the Chicago suburbs was sentenced to 17 years in prison after being convicted of several firearms-related offenses, including illegally transporting firearms across state lines, selling firearms without a license, and travelling across state lines to sell firearms without a license.

Authorities alleged that the man regularly travelled to Indiana, where he attended gun shows and purchased firearms and high-capacity magazines. He then transported these weapons back to Chicago, where he and his co-conspirators sold them to individuals believed by the government to be involved in gang activity.

Three of the man's co-conspirators pleaded guilty to being felons in possession of firearms. Two will serve at least 10 years in prison, and the other is still awaiting sentencing.

Criminal Charges For Collaborating With Organized Crime

While this is just one example, it demonstrates the very serious legal consequences that can follow from collaborating with or working for violent criminals. Even buying just one gun for someone whose felony conviction history prohibits them from owning a weapon can bring up to 10 years in federal prison.

It's not just firearms offenses that can bring trouble. Individuals suspected of being involved with businesses run by a criminal enterprise could face charges like money laundering or tax evasion. Moreover, individuals accused of taking part in a broader criminal conspiracy can face complex RICO and racketeering charges.

Even seemingly small offenses can bring serious criminal charges. For example, law enforcement might go after individuals who agree to store contraband on behalf of a gang member or allow others to use their homes to package drugs. Often, law enforcement targets these individuals with the hope that the threat of prison time will convince them to testify against higher value targets.

The Importance Of An Experienced Attorney

No matter what the charge, prosecutions involving gang activity or other organized criminal enterprises are almost always very complex. As such, it is extremely important to enlist the help of a criminal defense attorney who has successfully handled these types of cases in the past and knows how to protect your rights.

If you or a loved one is facing these types of charges, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney right away.

Keywords: violent crime, guns, gangs, organized crime