The attorney general has charged two Waukegan men with gunrunning for allegedly selling at least 16 guns, some of which were stolen, this summer in Lake and Cook counties.
Cesar Morales, 25, of Waukegan, was charged with three counts of gunrunning, unlawful sale or delivery of firearms, three counts of armed violence and two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
Agustin Prado, 28, of Waukegan, was charged with two counts of gunrunning and two counts of unlawful sale or delivery of firearms.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office said Morales and Prado worked together between June and July.
The two illegally sold six firearms and an ounce of cocaine in Lake County and Cook County, the attorney general’s office said.
Morales is alleged to have illegally sold 10 additional firearms between June and August.
“Illegal gun and drug sales fuel gang activity and make our neighborhoods less safe,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Wednesday.
“These charges are the result of a collaborative effort between my office, federal entities and local law enforcement agencies to address gun trafficking and violence in our communities,” Raoul said.
Five of the 16 illegally sold guns were reported stolen.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office is co-prosecuting the case with the Lake County State Attorney’s Office.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a “comprehensive investigation” in the case.
“Our office looks forward to co-counseling this case with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Our office will handle the detention hearings, and these are exactly the type of defendants who should be detained awaiting trial. Because of the SAFE-T Act, these offenders will be detained without being able to use their own cash or have criminal associates post cash bond on their behalf,” Rinehart said.
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said his office’s Special Investigation Group, which is made up of federal, state and local law enforcement, investigates the “most violent and egregious criminals” operating in Lake County.
“Again, through their hard work and collaboration with stakeholders, two more gun and drug traffickers have been arrested and are facing serious charges. I am thankful to our team and Attorney General Raoul’s office, for everything they continue to do, keeping our community safe,” Idleburg said.
The most serious charge against Morales, gunrunning, is charged as a Class X felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
The most serious charge against Prado, gunrunning, is charged as a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“Our continued partnership is a force multiplier among law enforcement agencies, specifically the Lake County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group, which continues to investigate cases that hold those accountable for the gun crimes committed in Lake and Cook County,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Christopher Amon of the Chicago Field Division.
Both Morales and Prado remain detained in the Lake County Jail.
Prado is scheduled to appear in court on Friday and Morales is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.