A Chicago-area man was sentenced Friday to seven years in state prison for unlawfully possessing numerous guns and ammunition he had stashed in a storage locker.
“This joint investigation demonstrates that law enforcement can combat emerging and existing transnational criminal organizations by employing the full range of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities and resources in the fight to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle these organizations at every level of operation,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago.
Juan A. Mexicano, 33, of Addison, Illinois, was sentenced Friday to seven years imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On Aug. 24, 2018, he pleaded guilty to nine felony counts of unlawfully using a weapon. In December 2018, he was also sentenced in California to more than 11 years in federal prison on a related cocaine trafficking conviction.
During the plea hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney William Engerman, Kane County (Illinois), stated that Elgin police officers served a search warrant at a storage facility in the 600 block of Big Timber Road, specifically for a unit being rented by Mexicano.
Inside the unit, authorities found 31 weapons, including five fully automatic long guns, a grenade launcher and two live grenades, as well as thousands of rounds of live ammunition. Among the automatic rifles found were a Colt AR-15, a Schmeisser rifle, and a Thompson sub-machine gun. The investigation revealed that Mexicano owned the guns and ammunition.
“Mr. Mexicano is a gun and drug dealer whose capture and prosecution is the result of cooperation across multiple state and federal agencies and the Elgin Police Department. Removing these fully automatic weapons, dozens of other firearms, explosive devices and thousands of rounds of ammunition is a small but important victory against those who engage in violent crime and participate in the deadly and illegal drug trafficking trade,” said State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, Kane County. “My thanks to all of these agencies for their work in taking these weapons off the streets. Without their diligent work the guns might have been used to commit acts of violence and to help bring illegal drugs into the United States.”