Three Chicago men have been charged by federal authorities with violent crimes in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood. The men – ages 37, 26 and 19 – are accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire operation that resulted in two fatal shootings.
The men are each charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire, according to John R. Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Other agencies participating in the arrests included the FBI, the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to court documents, the 37-year-old has been involved in drug trafficking on the city’s West Side. He apparently believed another man was cooperating with police as an informant, and allegedly hired the 26-year-old and 19-year-old to kill him. According to officials, the men were to be paid $5,000 and would receive an assault rifle as well.
In January of 2018, the men allegedly lured the suspected informant to a West Arthington Street address, where he arrived with his girlfriend in a Jeep. As the pair sat in the vehicle, the 19-year-old reportedly entered the Jeep and shot both the man and woman in their heads.
Officials noted that though the suspected informant had cooperated with police in the past, he was not involved with law enforcement efforts at the time.
The two defendants face mandatory life sentences if they are convicted of the charges, though the U.S. Attorney General could authorize prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
Those facing violent crime allegations should not speak with a prosecutor or investigator until they have spoken with a skilled Chicago defense attorney experienced in both federal and state courts.