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Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
09/26/2017

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3 indicted in Illinois for illegal gun-purchase scheme

ST.CHARLES, Ill. — Three people were criminally charged Tuesday for an alleged plot to “straw purchase” guns, which is a Class X felony.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Elgin (Illinois) Police Department.

Kane County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Joe McMahon alleges in charging documents that Ira A. Burdine, 40, from Zion, Illinois; Dana J. Prouty, 46, from Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Favio Velazquez, 38, from Columbus, Ohio, intentionally and unlawfully provided false information — and affirmed that he or she was not acquiring firearms on the behalf of another person — to collectively purchase 29 shotguns and .50-caliber rifles.

“Anyone who ‘straw purchases’ guns circumvents the federal laws designed to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and other threats to national security and public safety,” said James M. Gibbons, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago.  “Homeland Security Investigations routinely works with our law enforcement partners to enforce these vital laws by investigating and pursuing prosecution against suspects who purchase guns for those who cannot legally buy them.”

Burdine and Prouty were taken into custody Sept. 11 by HSI and ATF special agents. Burdine posted bond and was released. His next court appearance is set for Oct. 5 at the Kane County Judicial Center before Associate Judge David R. Kliment. Prouty remains in custody at the Kane County Jail. Her next court date is set for Sept. 28, also before Judge Kliment.

Velazquez was taken into custody Sept. 22 in Columbus, Ohio, by local ATF task force officers. His extradition from Ohio is pending.

State’s Attorney McMahon said, “The law that these three individuals are alleged to have violated is in place to protect against guns getting into the hands of the wrong people. We appreciate HSI’s work in tracking these gun purchases, and also for working with us to ensure that all available evidence is lawfully gathered so as to ensure a successful prosecution.”

The charges against Burdine, Prouty and Velazquez are not proof of guilt. Burdine, Prouty and Velazquez are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/03/2017