Westmont man charged with possession of altered, loaded gun


A DuPage County judge April 12 granted the state’s motion to deny pretrial release for a Westmont man allegedly found in possession of a loaded gun that had been altered to allow it to fire in fully automatic mode, prosecutors said.

The 20-year-old offender of the zero to 100 block of West Oakley Drive North appeared in First Appearance Court, charged with one count each of unlawful use of a weapon – machine gun and unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

His co-defendant, an 18-year-old Chicago man, also appeared in First Appearance court April 12, charged with one count of unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a nondetainable offense under the dangerousness standard, according to the release.

About 2:26 p.m. April 11, Westmont police saw a blue 2016 Nissan Rogue reportedly stolen out of Rockford earlier that day backed into a parking stall on Oakley Drive South with two occupants, later identified as the offenders, inside the vehicle, according to the release.

A short time later, the Nissan pulled out of the parking lot eastbound on Oakley Drive South. Police followed the vehicle to a parking lot on Oakley Drive North where, after parking the car, the men allegedly took the rear license plate off the vehicle before exiting the parking lot, authorities said.

A short time later, as one of the offenders returned to the Nissan, police ordered him to stop walking and told him he was under arrest. He tried to run from police but was taken into custody after a brief struggle.

At this time, police allegedly observed the other offender in the driver’s seat of the Nissan. He allegedly drove toward the officers but then exited the vehicle and tried to flee on foot. He was arrested at this time, authorities said.

After handcuffing the offender, police allegedly observed the barrel of a handgun sticking outside of a backpack that he was wearing. The gun later was identified as a loaded Glock 19, 9mm with one round in the chamber and an extended magazine. The weapon was altered to allow it to fire as a fully automatic weapon, according to the release.

“Public safety remains the top priority of my office and the allegation that [one of the offenders] unlawfully possessed an extremely dangerous, fully-loaded gun capable of firing as a machine gun is outrageous,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release.“ To further aggravate the matter, it is further alleged that both these men were in possession of a vehicle stolen out of Rockford earlier the same day. Allegations such as those against these defendants will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be fully prosecuted.”

“Illegally modified firearms are a danger to society,” Westmont Chief of Police James Gunther said in the release. “Our officers will continue to vigorously investigate and arrest individuals who possess such weapons with the goal of keeping our community safe. This incident also illustrates the continued pattern of illegal firearms being recovered in conjunction with stolen motor vehicles throughout the area.”

The next court appearance for both men is scheduled for May 6.