Chicago Man Charged in Federal Court With Trafficking More Than a Dozen Guns
CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been arrested on federal firearm charges for allegedly trafficking more than a dozen guns, including a “ghost gun” and a machine gun, in the city this year.
ANTHONY PEREZ-FLORES, 27, is charged with willfully dealing firearms without a license and illegally possessing firearms as a previously convicted felon. Perez-Flores was arrested Thursday. A detention hearing is set for June 22, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim.
The charges and arrest were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; and Thomas J. Dart, Cook County Sheriff. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jasmina Vajzovic.
According to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Perez-Flores sold 13 firearms on ten different occasions in Chicago this year. The transactions allegedly occurred in an alley in the Dunning neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side. One of the firearms was considered a “ghost gun” because it contained no identifiable serial number and had been manufactured from parts collected from various sources. Another of the firearms was equipped with a machine gun conversion device, commonly known as a “switch,” allowing for multiple rounds to be fired with a single pull of the trigger. Unbeknownst to Perez-Flores, the individual to whom he sold the guns was an undercover law enforcement officer, the complaint states.
Perez-Flores was on parole for a state firearm conviction when he allegedly sold the guns to the undercover officer. As a previously convicted felon, Perez-Flores was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is a centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s cross-jurisdictional strike force aimed at reducing gun violence. As part of the Chicago firearms trafficking strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with ATF and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a focus of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district.
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The illegal possession charge is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison, while the unlawful dealing charge carries a maximum sentence of five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.