Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 12, 2024
Chicago Man Sentenced to Nearly 6 Years for Gun Trafficking, Including Illegal 'Glock Switches'Source: Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Chicago man has been put away for nearly six years after peddling an arsenal of firearms and illegal conversion devices, including "Glock switches," to undercover officers. Rogelio Castaneda, 30, of Chicago, received a 70-month sentence in federal court Tuesday for his one-man gunrunning operation that spanned three cities and netted him an array of criminal charges.

During last year's three-month-long undercover sting, Castaneda managed to quickly sell nine guns and 28 switch devices, which can dangerously convert semi-automatic firearms to fully automatic. The sales took place in Chicago, Stickney, Ill., and Hammond, Ind. What made the crackdown significant was that some of the firearms involved were unlicensed, privately made guns. Castaneda was on pre-trial release for a prior firearms charge when he committed these sales, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman handed down the sentence after Castaneda pleaded guilty in December 2023 to unlawfully possessing a machine gun. "The city of Chicago continues to face a gun violence epidemic," Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McDonnell argued, underlining the danger of Glock switches which serve "no purpose other than to inflict maximum damage on enemies and innocent bystanders," as per the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.

The case reflects the Department of Justice’s efforts to disrupt illegal firearms trafficking under their Firearms Trafficking Strike Force operation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois, working closely with ATF, CPD, and other partnered agencies, aim to seriously, and effectively stem the flow of illegal firearms and tackle violent gun crimes. Project Safe Neighborhoods echoes this commitment, seeking to hold firearm offenders accountable through federal prosecution and broader violence reduction initiatives.