Four Men Indicted on Federal Firearm Offenses for Allegedly Trafficking Guns From St. Louis to Chicago

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A gavel and a block is pictured at the George Glazer Gallery antique store in this illustration picture taken in Manhattan, New York City

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury has indicted four men on firearm offenses for allegedly trafficking guns from St. Louis to Chicago.

A superseding indictment returned Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges JEROME BOYKIN, 31, of St. Louis, Mo., ROBERT NARUP, 71, of Washington, Mo., RODOLFO ORTEGA, 26, of Chicago, and ROGELIO MANCERA, 26, of Schaumburg, Ill., with willfully dealing firearms without a license.  The indictment charges Boykin and Mancera with possessing multiple firearms while trafficking marijuana in the Chicago area, and it charges Ortega with illegally possessing two firearms as a previously convicted felon.

Arraignments are set for Feb. 23, 2022, at 11:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle.

The superseding indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan DeMarco represents the government. 

ATF investigated the case alongside CPD’s Gun Investigations Team.  Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri, and the St. Louis Field Office of ATF’s Kansas City, Mo., Field Division.

Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is a centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s cross-jurisdictional strike force aimed at reducing gun violence.  As part of the Chicago strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with ATF, CPD, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.

“Firearms traffickers enable unlawful possession of guns and the violence that may follow,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in Chicago and across the country to bring impactful cases that hold firearms traffickers accountable and reduce violent crime in Chicago.”

“This case is an excellent example of how partnership and coordination among the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF addresses the root causes of gun trafficking,” said ATF SAC de Tineo.  “We will continue to focus on these investigations that have an impact on the gun violence in our community.”

According to criminal complaints previously filed in the case, Narup purchased firearms at gun shows throughout the United States and illegally sold them to Boykin in St. Louis.  Boykin allegedly brought the guns to Chicago and sold them to Mancera in exchange for marijuana.  Mancera then allegedly re-sold the guns to Ortega, who in turn allegedly sold them to buyers on the streets of Chicago.

The charges allege that 23 guns were possessed by Boykin and four guns were possessed by Mancera while they trafficked the marijuana. 

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Dealing firearms without a license is punishable by up to five years in federal prison.  Possessing a firearm while trafficking marijuana is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of life.  The illegal firearm possession charge against Ortega is punishable by up to ten years.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.