St.Louis-Chicago Gun Trafficking Network Developed on Facebook

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A St. Louis-to-Chicago gun trafficking network began with a relationship that was kindled on an online sneaker marketplace, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Jerome Boykin and Rogelio Mancera met on a Facebook specialty sneaker group and started trading guns for marijuana about a year ago. Chicago police and ATF agents arrested those men and their supplier, Robert Narup, a 71-year-old Missouri retiree who’d traveled the country to buy weapons at gun shows.

Narup was arrested after he sold 18 guns and two silencers to an undercover ATF agent for $14,000 and is charged with dealing firearms without a license. Rodolfo Ortega was a middleman, selling guns on the street in Chicago for Mancera for a cut of the profits. Boykin provided undercover agents 22 guns for what he thought was 6 pounds of marijuana. He cooperated with investigators, identified Narup as his source, and is charged with possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Ortega was arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms. Mancera was arrested and charged with dealing firearms without a license. Mancera admitted he provided Boykin high-grade marijuana in return for at least 40 guns in at least 10 separate deals, federal authorities say. The price was three guns per pound of pot.

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