Published reports say three soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky have been charged in federal court for what WGN News says was “allegedly supplying guns used in recent Chicago shootings and homicides.”
The suspects were identified as Demarcus Adams, 21, Jarius Brunson, 22, and Brandon Miller, 22. If convicted, they could be facing up to 20 years in prison.
The charges capped off an investigation that followed a March 26 shooting at a birthday party on Chicago’s South Side. The Windy City has been racking up hundreds of homicides annually, and this particular incident left one person dead and seven others wounded, according to WGN.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee said in a statement that the investigation revealed “multiple firearms were recovered from the shooting scene and five of the firearms were found to have been recently purchased from Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers in the Clarksville, Tennessee area.
“Further investigation identified Adams, Brunson and Miller as the majority purchasers of these firearms,” the statement detailed. “A broader investigation into firearms transaction records from FFLs in the Clarksville region determined that since September 2019, the trio had purchased 91 firearms from multiple FFLs in Clarksville; Oak Grove, Kentucky; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Paducah, Kentucky. The majority of the firearms were purchased during the last five months. The criminal complaint also alleges that after the firearms were purchased, Miller would provide them to individuals he was associated with in Chicago.”
All three suspects are enlisted members of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. According to Fox News, they were “each charged with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident; making false statements during the purchase of a firearm; engaging in the business without a firearms license; wire fraud; money laundering; and conspiracy to commit Title 18 offenses.”
According to the website Heyjackass.com, which monitors Chicago murders, so far this year the city has logged more than 200 gun-relates murders out of 219 slayings.
Gun control lobbying groups and Chicago authorities have long decried alleged gun trafficking from other states to Chicago, blaming weak gun control laws in those other states. This case indicates the focus is now on individuals who violate existing state and federal gun laws already on the books.
CNN reported last month that March saw 233 shooting incidents with 298 victims, up significantly over March 2020, when there were 146 shootings with 175 victims. The Chicago Sun-Times said March produced 42 murders, again up from the 28 during March 2020.
WGN noted in its story, “On April 28, a federal search warrant was executed at the home of Miller and Adams in Clarksville, where 49 empty firearms cases were recovered. Many of these empty cases were matched to firearms recovered by the Chicago Police Department at the scene of recent shootings and homicides.”