A Chicago man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for firearms trafficking and possession and sale of machine gun conversion devices, also known as a “switches,” which convert firearms into a fully automatic machinegun.
Per the indictment and a previously filed criminal complaint, from January 24 and continuing until on or about March 30, 2023, ROGELIO CASTANEDA, 29, of Chicago, willfully engaged in the business of dealing firearms when he was not licensed to do so, and possessed and sold “switch” devices. Specifically between February 7 and March 20, 2023, Castaneda is alleged to have sold four firearms and nine machine gun conversion devices to undercover ATF agents on four separate occasions.
The indictment is announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Christopher Amon, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Eric Carter, Acting Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McDonnell.
Disrupting illegal firearms trafficking is the focus of the Department of Justice’s cross-jurisdictional strike force. As part of the Chicago firearms trafficking strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with the ATF and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.
Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is also a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, Acting U.S. Attorney Pasqual and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The trafficking charge is punishable by up to five years in federal prison, while the possession of a machinegun carries up to 10 years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.