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Police: Gun-Runner Bought Guns In Arkansas To Sell To Chicago Gangs

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police on Tuesday touted the least-violent Labor Day weekend in three years, and the arrest of an alleged gun-runner who trafficked "hundreds" of weapons— including assault rifles— from Arkansas to street gangs on the South and West sides.

The alleged gun-trafficker was arrested Sunday in Chicago Ridge during an exchange of eight weapons for $7,000, Chief Anthony Riccio of the Organized Crime Division said at a news conference at CPD headquarters.

The man was charged Tuesday in Chicago with federal firearms violations for illegally selling numerous handguns, rifles and a shotgun in Chicago and nearby suburbs.

A federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday stated that Klint Kelley, 27, of Malvern, Ark., sold 21 guns to a confidential informant in three buys staged between April and the weekend's bust, apparently timing the deals with visits to family in the Chicago suburbs.

Kelley was charged with three counts of dealing firearms without a license and across state lines, and one count of selling firearms to a known felon.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman in Chicago.

The arrest was the culmination of a four-month sting operation targeting the gun trafficker, who Riccio said had "ties" to Chicago gangs, but lived in Arkansas, where he purchased weapons at gun shows and online, but did not fill out paperwork that would have listed him as the purchaser.

"He was pretty slick about it," Riccio said. "He would never do the ownership paperwork because he knew they ultimately would be used for crimes in the city of Chicago."

Kelley allegedly sold firearms to the felon on three occasions.

According to the complaint, "on April 3, 2017, in a residence in southwest suburban Frankfort, Kelley sold the felon five handguns and three semi-automatic rifles in exchange for $4,750 in cash, the complaint states. On July 3, 2017, near the United Center on Chicago's West Side, Kelley sold the felon four handguns and one semi-automatic rifle in exchange for $3,000 in cash, the complaint states. On Sept. 3, 2017, in a commercial area of southwest suburban Chicago Ridge, Kelley sold the felon four semi-automatic rifles, three handguns and one semi-automatic shotgun in exchange for $7,000 in cash, the complaint states."

Kelley grew up in Illinois and moved to Arkansas several years ago.

(CBS Chicago and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this copy. © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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