CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been indicted on a federal firearm charge for allegedly straw purchasing handguns in a suburban store on behalf of another individual.
On July 15, 2020, DARIUS BROWN purchased three handguns from a licensed firearms dealer in Mokena, Ill., and falsely certified on federal forms that he was the actual buyer, according to an indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In reality, Brown purchased the guns on behalf of another individual, the charges allege.
Brown, 24, is charged with one count of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of firearms. He pleaded not guilty today during his arraignment in federal court in Chicago. A status hearing was set for April 30, 2021, before U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ankur Srivastava.
“Straw purchasers too often play a grave role in enabling the unlawful possession of guns and the violence that can follow,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Our office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of guns to individuals who cannot legally purchase them.”
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The charge in the indictment is punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.