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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Two Convicted Felons Charged in Federal Court With Illegally Possessing Loaded Handguns in Chicago

CHICAGO — Two convicted felons have been charged with federal firearm offenses for allegedly illegally possessing loaded handguns in Chicago this past weekend.

KEVIN D. TUNSTALL, 29, of Oak Forest, and JOHNNIE L. LEE, 32, of Chicago, are each charged with one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Tunstall and Lee were previously convicted of criminal felonies and were not lawfully allowed to possess a firearm.  Initial court appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The federal charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; 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.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in bringing these charges.  The government is represented in the Tunstall case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shy Jackson, and in the Lee case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn McCarthy.

Holding gun offenders accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of 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.  In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have 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.

Tunstall and Lee were arrested separately this past weekend by Chicago Police officers. 

Tunstall was arrested early Saturday morning near the 600 block of South State Street after officers observed him in possession of a loaded semiautomatic handgun while seated in a vehicle, according to the charges. 

Lee was arrested late Sunday night after a vehicle he was driving crashed into a Chicago Police car near the 3200 block of North Southport Avenue, the charges allege.  He was taken into custody while in possession of a loaded handgun.  A city of Chicago curfew took effect at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, and Lee was arrested nearly two hours later.

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.  Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated June 3, 2020