CHICAGO -- Chicago police hope they have turned a corner on the violence that plagues the city.
They've zeroed in on intercepting firearms that are flooding the city, and this week, they had something to show for it.saw fewer shootings and homicides than in years past.
Authorities say a load of weapons were seized from 27-year-old Klint Kelley, who shuttled them to Chicago from his home state of Arkansas, knowing they would go to gangs. Since April, Kelley sold 21 guns to his childhood friend in Chicago, who was actually an informant working for the ATF.
Text messages included in court documents read like a how-to guide detailing how military-style weapons wind up on Chicago's streets.
On June 18 Kelley wrote, "There's a gun and knife show coming up next weekend ... been trying to get my hands on some more K's," referring to AK-47s.
On August 25, Kelley texted the informant a photo of numerous guns and a price: "I'm looking at 7 g's altogether," he wrote, adding, "I'm just throwing that little pistol in there cuz we boyz."
"These guns were going to be used in shootings and drive-bys," said Anthony Riccio, chief of organized crime for Chicago Police.
"The ATF was able to link about 136 additional shootings, in the areas we knew he was trafficking those guns, to firearms that he had sold," Riccio said.
The arrest is part of a stepped-up strategy to reduce gun violence. The result: murders this past Labor Day weekend were down 46 percent over last year.
"This isn't a victory but it's definitely a step in the right direction," he said.
He said a relative respite from violence is still no reason to celebrate.