Skip to main content
Press Release

South Holland Man Convicted Of Illegally Dealing Hundreds Of Guns He Trafficked From Indiana Gun Shows And Sold In Chicago

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

CHICAGO ― A federal jury today convicted a south suburban man of buying hundreds of high-powered firearms at guns shows in Indiana and illegally transporting them to Chicago where he sold them without a federal firearms dealer license. The defendant, DAVID LEWSIBEY, was found guilty by jurors who deliberated several hours yesterday and today after a two-week trial in U.S. District Court.

Lewisbey, 23, of South Holland, was convicted of dealing firearms without a federal license and two counts each of illegally transporting firearms across state lines, and interstate travel to sell guns without a license. He faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison on each count of interstate travel, and five years in prison on each of the other three counts, and a maximum $250,000 fine on each count. U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman scheduled sentencing for Dec. 10. The judge must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

“This is one of the most significant gun-trafficking cases we have prosecuted and one that effectively ended a steady supply of potentially lethal weapons from Indiana to Chicago,” said Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He announced the verdict with W. Larry Ford, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chicago Police Department, and the Illinois State Police assisted in the investigation.

Evidence at the trial showed that between January 2008 and September 2012, Lewisbey, who had no criminal record that disqualified him from buying firearms, routinely traveled to various gun shows in Indiana and purchased duffle bags full of guns that he brought back to Chicago. A government witness testified that he personally observed Lewisbey buy more than 100 firearms, as well as dozens of high-capacity magazines, at Indiana gun shows.

The evidence further showed that during just one 48-hour period, on April 22-23, 2012, Lewisbey bought 43 guns in Indiana and brought them to Chicago, where he delivered them to co-defendant LEVAINE TANKSLEY, who with two other co-defendants, sold them to an individual who was cooperating with ATF agents. All of those guns were recovered by law enforcement.

Tanksley, 28; CHARLES LEMLE, 27; and MICHAEL HALL, 28, all of Chicago, each pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms as previously convicted felons, and are awaiting sentencing.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Parente and Bethany Biesenthal.

Updated July 23, 2015