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March 24, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES CHARGES IN STRAW PURCHASING SCHEME

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced charges against two Chicago-area men for unlawfully buying and selling firearms, following a joint investigation with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Chicago Field Division (ATF) and the Aurora Police Department.

Tommy Murphy, 25, of Aurora, Illinois, and Kimani Mobley, 23, of Chicago were charged in DuPage County Circuit Court over straw purchases of firearms. Murphy is facing several felony charges, including armed violence, unlawful sale or delivery of a firearm, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful purchase of a firearm, conspiracy to commit the unlawful purchase of a firearm, unlawful distribution of a look-alike substance, attempted gunrunning and forgery. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Murphy’s bond was set at $100,000. Earlier in March, the Statewide Grand Jury convened by Raoul’s office also indicted Murphy on additional charges committed in multiple counties.

Mobley was indicted in November 2020 on charges of unlawful purchase of a firearm and conspiracy to commit the unlawful purchase of a firearm. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Mobley’s bond was set at $75,000.

“Illegally-obtained guns are frequently connected to crimes and gun violence, and make our communities less safe,” Raoul said. “I appreciate the ATF’s work in partnership with my office, as well as our collaborations with other law enforcement agencies throughout the state, which are critical in protecting Illinois residents from gun violence.”

According to the Attorney General’s office, an ATF investigation uncovered the men’s scheme facilitating firearm purchases for individuals who were unable to buy firearms themselves.

“We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to hold those accountable who purchase firearms on behalf of those who are prohibited from possessing them,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kristen de Tineo of the Chicago Field Division. “We are grateful to Attorney General Raoul and his staff for his commitment to prosecute these cases.”

“The Aurora Police Department takes the issue of illegal guns very seriously and works to keep them out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have access to them,” Aurora Police Department Chief Kristen Ziman said. “We work very closely with our law enforcement partners at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Illinois Attorney General’s office to aggressively investigate and prosecute cases to keep illegal guns off our streets.”

Raoul alleged that between May 6 and May 8, 2019, Murphy and Mobley met with undercover agents in the parking lot of a DuPage County gun store to arrange a firearm straw purchase. According to Raoul, Murphy collected a payment from the agents to cover the cost of purchasing a firearm, as well as a profit, then passed the money along to Mobley – who had a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. Murphy directed Mobley to use the extra money to buy Murphy a firearm. While in the store, Mobley allegedly selected two firearms he said he was buying for himself, paid in cash, and filled out the necessary background check and forms – again, falsely verifying that he was purchasing the guns for himself.

Raoul alleged Mobley later contacted the store and requested a refund following a delay in the processing of the background check. Mobley later was informed that the Illinois State Police had declined his purchase due to a pending court case. Raoul also alleged that again in May, Murphy met one of the undercover agents in Kane County and sold a .45 caliber pistol and 21 Xanax bars for $1,600.

Arrest warrants were issued for Murphy and Mobley in November 2020, and Mobley surrendered to the DuPage County Sheriff’s office in December. Murphy was arrested in and extradited from Maricopa County, Arizona, in February 2021. The public is reminded that the defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Whitfield is handling prosecution of the case for Raoul’s Statewide Grand Jury Bureau.

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