Two Indiana Men Charged in Federal Court with Trafficking Guns from Indianapolis to Chicago
CHICAGO — Two Indiana men have been charged with federal firearm violations for allegedly trafficking ten guns, including four semiautomatic rifles and two “ghost guns,” from Indianapolis to Chicago last week.
DEVANTE T. BROWN, 27, and COREY SARTIN, 19, both of Indianapolis, Ind., are charged with conspiracy and willfully dealing firearms without a license. Brown is also charged with illegally possessing firearms as a previously convicted felon. Brown and Sartin were arrested Friday. They are scheduled to make initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Chicago today at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim.
The charges and arrests were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, 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 Dolton, Ill., Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jasmina Vajzovic and Paige Nutini.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Brown and Sartin on June 24, 2022, illegally sold ten firearms, including four semiautomatic handguns, four semiautomatic rifles, and two privately made “ghost guns.” A firearm is considered a “ghost gun” when it contains no identifiable serial number and was manufactured from parts collected from various sources. The transaction occurred in the Chicago suburb of Calumet City, Ill., the complaint states. Unbeknownst to Brown and Sartin, the individuals to whom they allegedly sold the firearms were undercover law enforcement officers. In a text message to one of the undercover officers prior to the deal, Brown allegedly stated, “Trust me we gone keep you with all the artillery. I come across guns all day long. We gone do good business together.”
In addition to the ten firearms allegedly trafficked from Indiana, the complaint also accuses Sartin and Brown of selling four other firearms to an undercover officer on May 31, 2022, in a retail store parking lot in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. Sartin also allegedly sold a firearm to an undercover officer on April 9, 2022, in the Chicago suburb of Lynwood, Ill., the charges allege.
Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is a centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s cross-jurisdictional strike force aimed at reducing gun violence. As part of the Chicago firearms trafficking strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with ATF, CPD, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a focus of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district.
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and 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 illegal possession charge is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison, while the unlawful dealing and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum sentence of five years. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.