Calumet City Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges
ROCKFORD — A Calumet City man pleaded guilty to firearms charges today before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala in Rockford.
BRUCE WALKER, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by stealing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer, and one count of possessing a stolen firearm.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Timothy Jones, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The Manteno, Tinley Park, Chicago, and Loves Park Police Departments assisted in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Talia Bucci.
According to the written plea agreement, in the early hours of April 18, 2017, Walker and two other individuals obtained a stolen vehicle from Cook County and drove it to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Manteno. The three individuals then used a hammer to shatter one of the dealer's glass exterior doors and entered the premises. After entering, they attempted to break into a firearms safe inside the office, but were not successful. On the way out, one of the individuals stole a rifle and a 30-round magazine hidden inside an office. Walker and the other two individuals also stole boxes of firearm ammunition before fleeing the premises, and returned to Cook County with the rifle, 30-round magazine, and ammunition. About three hours later, the three individuals used the same stolen vehicle to drive to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Tinley Park, where Walker and another individual attempted to shatter the front glass door and a front window. When they were unable to gain entry to the business, they fled to the stolen vehicle where their getaway driver was waiting.
Walker faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment on the conspiracy charge, and a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment for possessing a stolen firearm. In addition, Walker faces a period of supervised release of up to three years following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000 on each charge. The sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines. Sentencing is set for May 30, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.
KELVIN CULPS, also known as “Forty,” 22, of Dolton, was also indicted in the case and charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by stealing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer, possessing a stolen firearm, and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Culps is currently in custody pending trial. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. Culps is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.