Crime news

ROCKFORD — A suburban Chicago man involved in an attempted weapons robbery in Manteno has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

Kelvin Culps, 23, also known as “Forty,” was sentenced to 96 months after pleading guilty in September 2019 to two separate but related cases.

Culps pleaded guilty to one count of stealing firearms from a licensed firearms dealer and one count of conspiring to steal firearms from licensed firearm dealers.

Regarding the first case, Clups admitted that, in the early hours of April 18, 2017, he, his co-defendant Bruce Walker, 24, of Calumet City, and another individual, obtained a stolen vehicle and drove from Cook County to a gun dealer in Manteno.

The three men used a hammer to shatter one of the business’ glass exterior doors and entered. After entering the location, they attempted to break into a gun safe, but were unsuccessful. Culps, however, stole a rifle with a 30-round magazine hidden inside the office of the gun store.

The three men also took boxes of ammunition before fleeing and returning to Cook County.

About three hours later, Culps, Walker and the third man used the same stolen vehicle to drive to another firearms dealer in Tinley Park. There they attempted to shatter the front glass door and front window of the gun store, but after failing to shatter the glass, they fled back to the stolen vehicle where their getaway driver was waiting.

Walker pleaded guilty on Feb. 20, 2019, to one count of conspiring to steal a firearm from a licensed dealer and one court of possessing a stolen gun. Walker was sentenced in May 2019 to 92 months in prison.

With regard to the second case in which Culps was sentenced, Culps and Paris L. Brown, 24, of Chicago, admitted they drove a stolen vehicle from Cook County to a gun dealer in Loves Park, Ill. Culps used a hammer to break into the property where he and Brown stole 12 handguns and rifles. They said they intended to sell the stolen weapons.

Brown pleaded guilty in January 2019 and was later sentenced to 72 months in prison.

Several law enforcement agencies took part in the arrests and investigation of these cases.

The Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Kankakee ATF Task Force as well as the police departments of Manteno, Loves Park, Chicago, Tinley Park and Lombard police department took part in the case, as well as the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

The government was represented by Assist. U.S. Attorney Talia Bucci.

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