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Chicago Man Indicted for Alleged Straw Handgun Purchases at Suburban Store

By Mary Chappell

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago man has been indicted on federal firearm charges after allegedly straw purchasing handguns for another person at a suburban Chicago store, officials said.

Justin Garcia, 24, bought two guns — one in 2019 and one in 2020 — from a licensed firearms dealer in Crete. Garcia bought the guns on behalf of another person but falsely certified on federal forms that he was the actual buyer, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Garcia has been charged with two counts of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, officials said.  He pleaded not guilty Tuesday during his arraignment and a status hearing is set for Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

CBS 2's Chris Tye reported Aug. 10 the firearm used to kill Chicago Police officer Ella French was straw purchased.

Juan Cloy, a former FBI Task Force agent and an expert on the gun pipeline told Tye the system is "not doing a whole lot of good" when it allows straw purchasers to check the box on the paperwork, but said there's no way to target or stop straw men from making purchases.

"No, there's not a real way to do that. Just say, 'OK, I checked the box,' and you know, from there, there's really no checks and balances for that," Cloy said. "No. No sir."


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