ADDISON, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — Police and federal agents credit an informant with providing the information that led to the arrest of nine people early Tuesday on charges of illegally buying and supplying guns to members of a west suburban faction of a Chicago-based street gang.
The gang’s reputed leader was among those arrested. In addition to the nine facing weapons-related charges, six more face state drug and gang charges.
The alleged gangbangers were arrested following an 18-month undercover investigation of the Almighty Gaylords street gang.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
Working with the confidential informant, agents were able to obtain thousands of rounds of ammunition and 11 firearms, including handguns, a shotgun, .22-caliber rifles and an AK-47 assault rifle. The complaints indicate that the informant made audio and video recordings of the transactions and related conversations.
Those who already had a felony conviction on their records face charges of illegal possession of a firearm, while others face charges of illegal sale of a firearm.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began its probe of the Addison gang faction in December 2009, focusing on its alleged leader, James Grace.
The informant directly bought guns and ammunition from fellow gang members Edward Rand and Daniel Springhorn, who allegedly supplied guns to a number of the gang faction’s members.
Springhorn does not have a felony conviction, allowing him to buy guns, but the complaints allege that he distributed the guns he purchased to those who could not legally purchase them. In addition, he is accused of allowing the property to be used illegally for target practice.
Those charged include:
— Springhorn, 56, of Sharon, Wis.;
— Rand, 46, and his wife, Brenda Rand, 46, both of Antioch;
— Grace, 40, of Addison;
— Joseph Kruzel, 42,of Lombard;
— Sergio Toutges, 39, of Villa Park;
— Jennifer Millhorn, 24, of Villa Park;
— Bobby Price, 50, of Elmhurst;
— Christopher Battaglia, 27, of Addison, who also went by the name Christopher Thonn.
Guns also were seized during raids in Addison and Lombard. Other raids took place in Antioch, Addison, Villa Park, Lindenhurst and Round Lake Beach.