Woman Indicted for Allegedly Straw Purchasing Handguns in Chicago Suburb
A woman has been indicted on federal firearm charges for allegedly straw purchasing handguns in a Chicago suburb on behalf of another individual.
On three occasions in 2019 and 2020, DIAMOND SMITH purchased a total of seven handguns, including two semi-automatic pistols, from a licensed firearms dealer in Oak Forest, Ill., and falsely certified on federal forms that she was the actual buyer, according to an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In reality, Smith purchased the guns on behalf of another individual, the charges allege.
Smith, 28, of Chicago, is charged with three counts of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. Arraignment is set for today at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim.
The charges were 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 Cornelius Vandenberg.
“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.”
“When firearms are purchased on behalf of those who are prohibited from possessing them, it poses immense danger to the community,” said ATF SAC deTineo. “We will continue to work closely with our partners to identify these straw purchasers.”
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.
Each count 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.