Chicago gun pipeline traced to three Fort Campbell soldiers

Chicago gun pipeline traced to three Fort Campbell soldiers


Three enlisted soldiers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were arrested Tuesday by ATF and Army CID special agents on allegations that they purchased dozens of guns that were later used on the streets of Chicago, including pistols used in a mass shooting that left one person dead and several others wounded earlier this year.

Demarcus Adams, 21; Jarius Brunson, 22; and Brandon Miller, 22, were each charged with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident; making false statements during the purchase of a firearm; engaging in the business without a firearms license; wire fraud; money laundering; and conspiracy to commit Title 18 offenses, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Glocks, Lugers and Taurus pistols recovered from the scene of a fatal March 26 shooting in Chicago’s Southwest Side were traced back to purchases made by the three soldiers from licensed dealers in Clarksville, Tennessee, according to the complaint signed by an ATF agent.

Firearm transaction records showed that since September 2019, the trio purchased 91 firearms from multiple dealers in the area around Fort Campbell, including towns in Kentucky and Tennessee, the complaint stated.

The majority of the guns were purchased in the last five months. After the firearms were secured, Miller would provide them to his associates in Chicago, the complaint alleged.

ATF agents and Chicago police interviewed Adams at a Fort Campbell CID office April 28. Authorities learned that Adams lived off-post with Miller at a Clarksville home.

Adams was read his Miranda rights and told police that Miller would give him money or electronic funds through Cash App to purchase the firearms. Miller would then take the guns to Chicago and sell them on the street, Adams told police, according to the complaint.

Adams consented to a search of his phone, which revealed a series of text messages between Adams, Miller and Brunson discussing the sales of guns, what phone apps to use for payments and where to go for purchases.

“Fat boy u better take out a lil loan they want a lot of guns,” Miller told Adams in one exchange on March 1.

ATF agents executed a federal search warrant at Miller and Adams’ Clarksville home April 28 — the same day of the initial interview.

The agents recovered 49 empty gun cases there, at least four of which were matched to firearms recovered by Chicago police at the scene of recent shootings and homicides, according to the complaint.

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Nicoson pictured during a patrol in Syria. (Courtesy of the Nicoson family)

ATF agents obtained a search warrant for Miller’s phone and saw a text exchange in which he and Brunson shared pictures of handguns and discussed prices.

“Glock 33 .357 for 550 plus tax,” Brunson told Miller in April. “I’m fina Apple Pay u,” Miller responded later, using a slang term that means “about to do.”

Miller would also text with a person who used a Chicago area code phone number. The person’s name was not listed in the complaint. Miller and the unidentified person discussed a trip to Chicago, gas prices and the “risk” involved in driving with guns and ammunition.

“We gotta hold this shit together ima still play the back role g I ain’t never turning my back on gang,” Miller told the unidentified person April 7. “We gone win this *war* we losing the battle but this a marathon not a race.”

On April 15, Miller texted the Chicago phone number a picture showing a stack of handgun cases with the caption, “Ain’t even half.” The stack was similar to the one ATF agents recovered during the April 28 search, the complaint stated.

The three soldiers are expected to appear before a U.S. judge in Nashville late Tuesday. If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in prison.

Army officials at Fort Campbell did not immediately return a request for comment, and attorneys for the accused trio were not yet listed Tuesday evening.





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.