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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Three Fort Campbell Soldiers Charged In Illegal Gun Pipeline To Chicago

Guns Found at Mass Shooting Scene in Chicago Traced to Purchases in Fort Campbell Area


NASHVILLE – Three Fort Campbell soldiers were charged today 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 this morning 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 March 26, 2021, when Chicago police responded to a mass shooting incident.  During this incident, multiple people were shot and one person 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 Adams, Brunson and Miller as the majority purchasers of these firearms.

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. 

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David Boling Public Affairs Officer 615-736-5956
Updated May 11, 2021