Third Chicago-Area Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Firearms From Illinois Gun Stores
ROCKFORD — A suburban Chicago man was sentenced Monday in federal court before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly to eight years in prison for stealing firearms from a licensed firearms dealer and conspiring to steal firearms from licensed firearm dealers.
KELVIN CULPS, also known as “Forty,” 23, of Dolton, was sentenced in two separate but related cases after pleading guilty on Sept. 17, 2019.
With respect to the first case, Culps admitted that in the early hours of April 18, 2017, he and codefendant BRUCE WALKER, 24, of Calumet City, and another individual obtained a stolen vehicle and drove from Cook County to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Manteno. The three individuals used a hammer to shatter one of the business’s glass exterior doors and entered the premises. After entering, they attempted to break into a firearms safe inside the gun store, but were unsuccessful. Culps, however, stole a rifle with a 30-round magazine from the office of the gun store. Culps, Walker, and the other individual also stole boxes of ammunition before returning to Cook County with the stolen rifle and ammunition. About three hours later, Culps, Walker, and the other individual used the same stolen vehicle to drive to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Tinley Park. There they attempted to shatter the front glass door and front window of the gun store, but fled after failing to do so.
With respect to the second case in which Culps was sentenced, Culps and his codefendant in that case, PARIS L. BROWN, also known as “Pairo,” 24, of Chicago, admitted that they drove in a stolen vehicle from Cook County to a licensed firearms dealer in Loves Park. Culps used a hammer to break through the glass exterior door, and Culps and Brown stole 12 handguns and rifles from the store. Culps and Brown concealed the stolen firearms in the trunk of the stolen vehicle and drove back to Cook County, where they intended to sell and distribute the stolen firearms.
The sentencing for Culps was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Timothy Jones, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The Police Departments of Loves Park, Manteno, Chicago, Tinley Park, and Lombard assisted in the investigation, as did the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Talia Bucci.
Walker pleaded guilty on Feb. 20, 2019, to one count of conspiring to steal a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer and one count of possessing a stolen firearm. Walker was sentenced on May 30, 2019, to seven years and eight months in prison.
Brown pleaded guilty on Jan. 9, 2019, to stealing firearms from a licensed firearms dealer and conspiring to do so. Brown was sentenced on June 28, 2019, to six years in prison.
As part of their sentences, Culps, Brown, and Walker were also ordered to pay restitution to the gun stores that they burglarized.