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Press Release

Convicted Felon from Chicago Indicted on Federal Firearm Offenses

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

CHICAGO — A Chicago man with a prior felony conviction has been indicted on federal gun charges for illegally dealing and possessing firearms.

The indictment contends that LAZARO SALAS, 32, illegally dealt firearms from September 2013 to November 2015.  Salas allegedly purchased between 40 and 60 guns through a straw purchaser and then later re-sold them, according to a federal criminal complaint and affidavit.  Two of the firearms were later found in the possession of Chicago gang members, the complaint states.

On Jan. 7, 2016, Salas purchased four handguns from an undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, according to the complaint.  The sale took place in a store parking lot near Salas’ residence in Chicago.  Salas paid $350 for two of the guns, and he agreed to purchase the other pair for $200 and an ounce of marijuana, according to the complaint.

Salas was previously convicted of a felony, the indictment states. 

The indictment was returned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  It charges Salas with one count of dealing firearms without a license, and one count of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.  An arraignment date in federal court has not yet been set.

The charge of dealing firearms without a license is punishable by up to five years in prison, while being a felon-in-possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey A. Magee, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of ATF; and John Escalante, Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The Illinois State Police also assisted in the investigation.

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.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Edenfield.


Updated March 10, 2016

Violent Crime