Chicago Man Indicted On Federal Charges For Allegedly Illegally Trafficking And Possessing Dozens Of Firearms
CHICAGO ― A Chicago man is facing federal gun charges for allegedly illegally trafficking nearly 40 firearms and illegally possessing at least 11 firearms between 2010 and 2012. The defendant, EARL GARDNER, was arrested last night by Chicago Police officers on a federal warrant issued after he was indicted last Wednesday by a federal grand jury.
Gardner, 25, of the 5900 block of South Bishop Street, was charged with one count of dealing firearms without a federal license and four counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.
He pleaded not guilty today at his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland and was ordered to remain in custody pending a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday in U.S. District Court.
According to the indictment and a prosecutor’s statements in court today, Gardner engaged in the business of dealing 39 firearms without a federal license between Dec. 29, 2010, and June 7, 2012, when he sold the guns to a cooperating individual. Those 39 firearms included more than a dozen semi-automatic pistols, 10 revolvers, 10 rifles, three shotguns, and two TEC-9 9 mm pistols. On Sept. 19 and 22, 2011, and Jan. 21 and Feb. 9, 2012, Gardner allegedly illegally possessed two or more firearms on each date after having been convicted of a felony, which disqualified him from possessing a gun. Among the 11 firearms that Gardner allegedly possessed were various 9 mm and .22, .38, and .45 caliber pistols, as well as several rifles, including two Norinco Model SKS 7.62 x 39 mm rifles.
Dealing firearms without a federal license carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while each count of being a felon-in-possession of firearms carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, and all five counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The arrest and charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Carl Vasilko, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Chapman.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.