Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today charged two Lake County men with allegedly trying to sell illegal firearms, some of which were stolen, in Lake and Cook counties this summer.
Raoul’s office charged Cesar Morales, 25, of Waukegan in Lake County Circuit Court, with three counts of gunrunning, Class X felonies punishable by up to 40 years in prison; one count of unlawful sale or delivery of firearms, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; three counts of armed violence, Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison; and two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Raoul’s office also charged Agustin Prado, 28, of Waukegan with two counts of gunrunning, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and two counts of unlawful sale or delivery of firearms, Class 2 felonies punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Both Morales and Prado are detained in the Lake County Jail. The next court date for Prado is Sept. 22 and for Morales Sept. 27, both in the Lake County Circuit Court.
“Illegal gun and drug sales fuel gang activity and make our neighborhoods less safe,” Raoul said. “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’s office alleged that between June and July, Morales and Prado allegedly worked together to illegally sell six firearms and an ounce of cocaine in Lake and Cook counties. Raoul is also alleging that between June and August, Morales illegally sold 10 additional firearms. Of the 16 firearms illegally sold, five were reported stolen.
Attorney General Raoul’s office will co-prosecute this case with the Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart’s office.
“I want to thank the Sheriff Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for its comprehensive investigation in this case,” Rinehart said. “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.”
The investigation was conducted by ATF and Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
“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. “I commend the Illinois Attorney General’s office for their commitment to charging these cases which make a difference in our communities.”
“Every day our Special Investigations Group, made up of federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, investigate the most violent and egregious criminals operating in Lake County,” said Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg. “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.”
The public is reminded that the defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Deputy Chief Andrew Whitfield is prosecuting the cases for Raoul’s Statewide Grand Jury Bureau.