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Press Release

Chicago Woman Arrested on Federal Weapons Charges for Giving a Loaded Gun to a Minor for Use in a Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal indictment unsealed today charges a Chicago woman with giving a loaded .38 Special revolver to a minor, knowing that the minor would use it to commit a violent crime.

VANDETTA REDWOOD, 34, is charged with one count of transferring a firearm to a juvenile while knowing that the juvenile intended to use it in a crime of violence, and one count of possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

Special agents with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and officers from the Chicago Police Department arrested Redwood this morning.  She pleaded not guilty during her arraignment today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.  Redwood was ordered held in federal custody until a detention hearing on Feb. 16, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffery Magee, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of ATF; and Chicago Police Interim Superintendent John Escalante.

“Prosecuting federal weapons laws is a top priority of our office,” said Mr. Fardon.  “We will not hesitate to use every available federal tool to charge those responsible for furthering the cycle of violence in Chicago.”

“The circumstances of this case are tragic,” said Special Agent Magee.  “ATF is committed to investigating firearms-related violent crime and ensuring those responsible are held accountable.”

“The Chicago Police Department is relentlessly focused on targeting guns and the offenders that use them to victimize our communities,” said Chicago Police Interim Superintendent John Escalante.  “We will continue to use the full weight of our state and federal partners to send a very clear message that gun violence is not going to be tolerated on the streets of Chicago.”

According to the indictment, Redwood gave the loaded revolver to the minor on April 28, 2014.  The indictment contends that Redwood knew the minor intended to use the gun to commit a crime of violence, namely first-degree murder and other firearm-related offenses.  Redwood possessed the gun within 1,000 feet of two elementary schools on Chicago’s West Side – Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School and Visitation Catholic School, according to the indictment.

The charge of transferring a gun to a minor for use in a crime of violence carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.  Possessing a gun within 1,000 feet of a school is punishable by up to five years.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and 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.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Nasser.


Updated February 11, 2016

Violent Crime