Two men indicted in straw firearms purchase scheme

A Wisconsin and a Chicago resident have been indicted on federal firearm charges for conspiring to straw purchasing. They had conspired to buy 19 handguns in Wisconsin and re-sell the guns in Chicago. According to an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Kirk Valentine, a Wisconsin resident, had purchased the guns from retail stores, pawnshops and gun shows and certified falsely that he was the actual buyer of the firearms.

According to the indictment, the guns were bought at the directions of Francisco Rocha, a Chicago resident. Rocha had identified the guns for Valentine as he paid him a premium over the list prices. The indictment also states that in the first six months of 2018, around 19 handguns were purchased in Wisconsin and transported to Chicago where Rocha, along with others, re-sold the guns and distributed them around.

The indictment had returned on Aug. 1, 2019, and was ordered unsealed on Wednesday. The indictment charged Valentine, 23, of La Crosse, Wisc., and Rocha, 28 with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license, and unlawfully dealing and importing firearms. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr., say “Straw purchasers and firearm traffickers enable unlawful possession of guns and the violence that may follow.”

The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Lausch with Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI, and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Albert Berry III and Elizabeth Pozolo are representing the government.  FBI Assistant SAC Larry L. Lapp says “It is a serious danger to our communities.  This indictment demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to help stop the flow of illegal guns into our neighborhoods.”

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

Related Posts
A lady was washing her hair and her hair started to fall out in clumps.
Chicago will have a piece of history back as a historic fireboat is restored after
A fiery crash on Interstate 94 on Wednesday closed the highway for several hours due
Milton Forsberg, 79-year-old, of Illinois, have been indicted with the charges of trafficking child pornography.
New charges are being filed against three people amid an ongoing federal investigation into corruption
Melissa Scanlan appeared at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis, Illinois this afternoon. She
Illinois State Rep. Luis Arroyo has been charged with offering a bribe to a fellow
The Lake County Sheriff's Office has informed people of the ways thieves use to steal
U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard has sentenced a Rockford man to 15 years in
The operators of a company based in suburban Chicago has been charged with hiring undocumented