Felon gets 10 years for stealing hundreds of guns in Chicago train heist

A previously convicted felon was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for stealing hundreds guns from a Chicago cargo train and proceeding to sell more than a dozen of them, the Justice Department said.

Andrew Shelton, 43, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. As a previously convicted felon, Shelton was not allowed to possess any type of firearm.

On the night of April 12, 2015, Shelton and other co-defendants went to the 63rd Street Railyard on the south side of Chicago looking to steal shoes and other merchandise but instead found a load of firearms shipped from a Ruger factory in New Hampshire. The firearms shipment was parked at the railway overnight while on its way to Spokane, Washington.

Shelton and his crew then broke the locks on the train car and stole approximately 111 firearms. Shelton kept 13 guns for himself and later sold them on the streets of Chicago. To date, Chicago police have only recovered 19 of the 111 stolen firearms, finding them at various locations and crime scenes throughout the Windy City.

“No efforts by law enforcement to stop the senseless killings in this city by keeping guns out of the hands of felons will be successful when there are individuals like the defendant and his co-defendants who are willing to profit off of illegal arms trafficking in Chicago,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher V. Parente and Eric Pruitt said in the government’s sentencing memo.

Ten other defendants have been convicted as a result of the investigation into the theft and subsequent sale of the firearms, while one defendant, Dandre Moody, is still awaiting trial scheduled for Dec. 11.