Federal prosecutors in Chicago announced Friday that a joint investigation by federal authorities and Chicago police has rounded up 45 alleged gang members including one man identified as a “violence interrupter” for the local CeaseFire gun control organization, who is charged with being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Francisco “Smokey” Sanchez, 50, is allegedly “part of the Gangster Two-Six Nation street gang,” according to unidentified law enforcement sources.
In addition to the suspects, the U.S. Attorney’s office said “Operation Bunny Trap” also resulted in the seizure of some 118 firearms, two ballistic vests, more than 800 grams of cocaine, more than 280 grams of crystal methamphetamine and more than 250 grams of fentanyl.
Sanchez has been profiled by The Trace, the gun control news organ that says on its website: “The Trace is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, under the IRS code. Funding for our site has been provided by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the Kendeda Fund, and the Joyce Foundation. Significant individual donors include Ken Lerer and Nick Hanauer.”
Hanauer is a founder of the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which coincidentally is holding its 5th annual fund raising luncheon on Tuesday.
The Trace story, which ran in February, focused on the work of the “violence interrupters.” According to The Trace, the program that created violence interrupters has suffered from dwindling funding. Considering the bloodbath that has been occurring in the Windy City the past couple of years, these “interrupters” haven’t interrupted much of anything.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office provided a revealing look at gun trafficking, which suggests that all the gun control laws passed in recent years ostensibly to reduce “gun violence” have missed the mark.
“The investigation,” the press release explained, “uncovered numerous illegal gun transactions, including two deals in January 2017 that occurred in the parking lot of a grocery store in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. (The suspect) sold three handguns to a confidential source who was cooperating with law enforcement, the complaints state. (The suspect) was under law enforcement surveillance when he sold the firearms, the complaints state. (The suspect) is charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and dealing firearms without a license.”
These transactions ignored any required background check, and in Illinois, it also skirted any requirement for a Firearm Owner’s Identity (FOID) Card.
Second Amendment advocates, including Richard Pearson with the Illinois State Rifle Association, point to the unfolding story as a perfect illustration of the ineffectiveness of gun control laws.
“They (laws) do nothing to impact the problem,” he told Liberty Park Press. “The goal (of gun prohibitionists) has always been to disarm the law-abiding citizen.”
In a February 2015 Chicago Sun-Times article that also mentioned Sanchez, the newspaper quoted CeaseFire founder Gary Slutkin, who insisted at the time that the organization’s job screeners make sure that employees like Sanchez “are no longer active in gangs.” At the time, Sanchez had just gotten out of prison.
If the charge against Sanchez is true, it will be a lesson to CeaseFire that background checks do not always work, and that people who should not have guns can get them no matter what laws are on the books.