CHICAGO — Three individuals have been charged with federal offenses for allegedly illegally possessing guns or ammunition in Chicago this week. The charges are the first federal prosecutions in Chicago under the Department of Justice’s Operation Legend.
DARRYL COLLINS, 30, of Dolton, is charged with one count of illegal possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, while ROMEO HOLLOWAY, 21, of Chicago, is charged with one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Collins and Holloway were previously convicted of criminal felonies and were not lawfully allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition.
DARRYL PHILLIPS, 22, of Chicago, is charged with one count of illegal possession of a machinegun.
All three defendants are currently detained in federal custody.
The federal charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The government is represented in the Collins case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia K. Schwartz; in the Holloway case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Hasten; and in the Phillips case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannice W. Appenteng.
The charges are the first federal prosecutions brought under Operation Legend, a Department of Justice initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime. As part of Operation Legend, Attorney General William P. Barr directed ATF, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and DEA to significantly increase resources into Chicago to help state and local officials fight violent crime, particularly gun offenses. ATF has deployed its national Crime Gun Intelligence Mobile Command Vehicle to assist local law enforcement with analysis of crime scenes and spent shell casings through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
“Operation Legend has strengthened our efforts to apprehend and charge illegal gun offenders in Chicago,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Under Operation Legend, we are working closer than ever with the Chicago Police Department, ATF, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to arrest and prosecute individuals engaging in violent crime in the city.”
According to criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Collins was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Chicago Police officers for illegally possessing ammunition, which was in a loaded handgun, in the 8200 block of South Maryland Avenue in the East Chatham neighborhood.
Holloway was arrested Tuesday night by federal and local law enforcement officers for illegally possessing a loaded handgun in the 2700 block of West Flournoy Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, according to the complaint. The gun contained ten rounds of live ammunition and had a bullet in the chamber, the complaint states.
Phillips was arrested early Wednesday morning by federal and local law enforcement officers executing a court-authorized search warrant in the 2700 block of West Flournoy Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, according to the complaint. Officers discovered a semiautomatic handgun in a bedroom, the complaint states. An ATF special agent reviewed the firearm and determined it was equipped with an auto-sear device, also known as a “switch,” which transformed the firearm into a machinegun capable of automatically shooting more than one shot without manually reloading, the complaint states.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges are punishable by up to ten years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
In addition to the resources allocated under Operation Legend, the U.S. Attorney’s Office holds gun offenders accountable through Project Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhoods – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategies. Project Guardian focuses specifically on investigating, prosecuting, and preventing gun crimes, and it emphasizes the importance of using modern technologies to promote gun crime intelligence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has deployed the Guardian and PSN programs to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, including by prosecuting individuals who illegally possess firearms.