Three enlisted soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky are now facing a variety of federal charges after their arrest by ATF and Army investigators on Tuesday. The trio are accused of funneling dozens of guns purchased in Kentucky to associates in Chicago, where several of the guns have been traced to shootings.
The Army Times reports that 21-year old Demarcus Adams, 22-year old Jarius Brunson, and 22-year old Brandon Miller have all been 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, which could potentially put the soldiers in federal prison for 20 years or more.
Glock 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 the area around Clarksville, Tennessee, according to the complaint signed by an ATF agent.
Firearm transaction records showed that since September 2019, the trio purchased 91 guns 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 added.
According to the criminal complaint, Demarcus Adams came clean late last month when investigators quizzed him about the gun purchases, telling authorities that Miller would give him money to buy the guns before Miller transported them to Chicago to sell to “associates.” Brunson’s role in the gun-running scheme was apparently revealed through text messages and other online communication.
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.”
Well, now it’s not a marathon or a race. It’s a federal court case, and Miller shouldn’t expect that the feds are going to go easy on him or his alleged co-conspirators, especially with several of the guns they brought to Chicago being traced to homicides.
According to an internal report from the Army’s Criminal Investigations Command, the military has seen a growing number of incidents in recent years involving service members who are also part of criminal gangs. In fact, while the media has been hyping up the dangers of “domestic extremists” serving in uniform, the 2019 report demonstrates that gang activity is far more common.
The Gang and Domestic Extremist Activity Threat Assessment from Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, is a regular report compiled at the behest of Congress. In fiscal 2018, the report found 83 law enforcement reports across the military with known or suspected gang or domestic extremist member involvement, a 66% increase from the previous year.
“The data shows that gang LERs are steadily increasing each fiscal year,” the CID report states. “FY18 is the highest percentage increase thus far.”
That increase holds true across categories: Street gang activity shows a 68% year-over-year increase, from 38 to 64 incidents, while outlaw motorcycle gangs had a 60% increase, from 10 to 16 incidents. Domestic extremist events remained few, increasing from 2 to 3 year over year.
Now, we’re still talking about a relatively small number of investigations given the size of the military, but incidents like these are still troubling. You’ve got guys who’ve sworn an oath to defend this nation against enemies foreign and domestic who are actually arming the gang members in Chicago who are (in Miller’s words) waging “war” on the city’s streets, with civilians ending up as the innocent victims far too often.
It would be great if the Biden administration would crack down on gang activity in the military, but instead we’re far more likely to see Biden and his fellow Democrats use these arrests to demand more restrictions on the legal purchase of firearms. Rather than view this as a gang problem, the Left will once again focus solely on the guns and not the individuals who broke the law in order to arm their criminal associates.