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3 Fort Campbell soldiers charged after guns traced to Chicago shootings

Fort Campbell (US Army/Released)

Three U.S. Army soldiers at Fort Campbell have been charged with trafficking guns to Chicago after several firearms found at the scene of a mass shooting in the Windy City in March were traced back to purchases made in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Demarcus Adams, 21; Jarius Brunson, 22; and Brandon Miller, 22, were arrested Tuesday by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, reports said.

Each is facing multiple federal charges, including transferring firearms to out-of-state associates, making false statements while purchasing firearms, money laundering, conspiracy, wire fraud and selling guns without a license.

All three enlisted men stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Federal prosecutors allege that multiple guns bought and sold by the soldiers were used in several shootings in Chicago, including an attack at a party on March 26 that left a 27-year-old man dead and seven others wounded in Wrightwood, a neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side.

The ensuing investigation found that five of the firearms recovered at the scene had been purchased from several dealers in the Clarksville, Tennessee, area, outside Fort Campbell, according to the office of Mary Jane Stewart, acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Further investigation revealed that Adams, Brunson and Miller were the “majority purchasers” of the guns, and that Miller provided the weapons to his associates in Chicago, prosecutors alleged in the criminal complaint.

The soldiers allegedly purchased at least 91 firearms from multiple federally licensed dealers near Fort Campbell beginning in September 2019, investigators said. Most of the guns exchanged hands over the last five months in Clarksville, Tennessee, and in the Kentucky cities of Oak Grove, Hopkinsville and Paducah.

It was unclear how the firearms were transported across state lines to Chicago, which is about a seven-hour drive north of the base where the 101st Airborne Division is stationed.

Federal agents executed a search warrant last Friday in Clarksville at a home shared by Miller and Adams. Inside they found 49 empty firearms cases, some which matched to firearms found at the crime scene in Chicago.

Miller was already facing a court martial at the military installation for an alleged sexual assault, reports said.

He and the other two soldiers are scheduled to appear in federal court next Monday.

So far this year, there have been 209 homicides in Chicago, mostly due to gun violence, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.


(c) 2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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