Chicago cousins charged for illegally selling guns on south side

Two Chicago cousins are facing federal firearms charges for illegally selling guns on the Windy City’s south side.

According to a Justice Department news release, 26-year-old Benjamin Vasquez Jr. was arrested Aug. 4 after illegally selling 16 firearms on Chicago’s south side over a four month period earlier in 2017. The firearms dealt included a sawed-off shotgun and an AK-47 rifle.

Unbeknownst to Vasquez, he was dealing the guns to a buyer cooperating with law enforcement. The buyer was secretly recording the transactions. One of the transactions went down in the New City neighborhood on Feb. 21 and involved the sale of a .22-caliber pistol.

Benjamin’s Vasquez’s cousin, 27-year-old Jorge Vasquez, was arrested last month and has also been involved in illegally selling guns.  On Feb. 13 in the West Englewood neighborhood, Jorge Vasquez sold a rifle to a buyer cooperating with law enforcement, a transaction in which he received $1,000.

Jorge Vasquez has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. His next court hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Benjamin Vasquez has been charged with knowingly possessing a firearm with an altered, removed or obliterated serial number. His preliminary hearing has been set for Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.