Shelby Co. IL. (ECWd) –
We exposed the illegal gun sales by the Shelby County Sheriff over a year ago, including proving that the accounting of the money did not balance with the public records. As we awaited action that never came from County Board members who sit on the Sheriff’s committee, we took steps, directly and indirectly, to ensure the proper authorities had the key information back in 2020.
We have now confirmed the Illinois State Police conducted their investigation and a special prosecutor was being sought last summer. As of December 2, 2021, the matter was pending prosecution however on December 28, 2020, the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor declined to take the case and State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke has requested the Attorney General prosecute. As of 3/4/21, the case is still under review by the Attorney General. The records point to Fraud and Official Misconduct as the possible charges.
While we are pleased to see requests for prosecution on this matter, we have little faith in the Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul prosecuting this case. Let me explain.
Several years ago State Representative Brad Halbrook moved legislation through the House with bipartisan support that would change the law on the sale of seized weapons. The goal was to allow such sales since they were happening in numerous counties, yet not a single State’s Attorney would prosecute those crimes. In one case those sales included a handgun with a filed-off serial number, a federal crime. If no one was going to prosecute these illegal sales then it was time to change the law and allow the public the ability to purchase them through the same process as other property sold by the Sheriff.
Former Senator, now Attorney General Kwame Raoul killed the bill in the Senate with no explanation. During a meet and greet event at the AG office in Springfield, I introduced myself to AG Raoul and briefly discussed the issue of illegal gun sales by County Sheriffs. In short, I ask what are the people to do when the law says such sales is a crime yet that very law is being ignored and the illegal practice continues and State’s Attorney’s do nothing? He stated something along the lines that it’s up to the State’s Attorneys to prosecute, which we already know. He also said there was nothing his office could do unless local prosecutors ask for their involvement.
We know Shelby County SA Kroncke made that request on December 28, 2021, based on the ISP Case Action Date in the investigation records below.
I contacted the AG office and asked three simple questions.
- Since you had no interest in supporting legislation that would have permitted the sale of seized weapons, do you have any interest in prosecuting such illegal sales?
- If your office is not going to prosecute the Shelby County Sheriff for the illegal sale of weapons, as well as possible theft of those weapons since the inventory list does not match the seized weapons list, where are the people to turn for enforcement of our laws?
- While I do not believe our laws should ever be political, as a Democrat State Attorney General, what message are you sending to citizens when you ignore the crime of illegal gun sales in Illinois by elected officials who took an oath to uphold our laws?
The AG’s office responded: “We are reviewing the referral and do not comment on pending investigations.”
Considering the investigation is not pending and actually completed and turned over for prosecution, we have no clue what pending investigation they are talking about. Considering the toxic political environment of this Country and State, we will be shocked to see a Democrat AG actually prosecute a Democrat Sheriff. I pray we are wrong.
A couple of items in the ISP report jumped out at us.
- All firearms were then returned into evidence
- the money was refunded to the firearm purchasers.
- Most, if not all, of the firearms, were purchased by SCSO employees
We know for a fact that there were multiple firearms that were missing from inventory when we completed our investigation. That information was provided to the authorities so if they are now returned, the question is why were they missing before?
While the money may have been refunded, we know the financials did not balance and we provided the former State’s Attorney and County Board that information clear back in February or March of 2020 during a public meeting at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center.
The last bullet point is very problematic.
(55 ILCS 5/3-6026) (from Ch. 34, par. 3-6026)
Sec. 3-6026. No purchase of property at own sale. No sheriff or deputy sheriff shall become the purchaser, nor procure any other person to become the purchaser for him or her, of any property, real or personal, by him or her exposed to sale, by virtue of any judgment or process; and all such purchases made by any sheriff or deputy sheriff, or by any other person in his or her behalf, shall be absolutely null and void.
(Source: P.A. 86-962.)
We understand numerous deputies participated in the illegal sales of guns. So not only is the selling of these firearms against the law, so is any such purchase by the Sheriff or his deputies.
The request for prosecution was for felony allegation of Official Misconduct & Theft.
The ISP report has approximately 34 pages completely redacted. While we have numerous documents that prove weapons are missing, we are not going to publish those since they are possibly redacted from the ISP report. We do not want to jeopardize any possible prosecution. We do note there are a substantial number of documents related to the union contract and arbitration. We know that allegations of payroll fraud by the Sheriff’s Office are being investigated and it is possible those findings are part of the ISP report.
The report had to be broken down into two parts because of their size and they can be downloaded here and here, or viewed below.21-0436 combined-Redacted-jm part 1
21-0436 combined-Redacted-jm part 2
PKPosted at 15:09h, 25 March
Say WHAT! The county’s state’s attorney and state police are expected to serve at the pleasure of the Illinois Attorney General for case(s) known to involve the illegal sale of guns, by a law enforcement agency? And then wait months as the legislature’s majority clamors for increasing measures on gun control. Wow! Disbelieve because there’s no alternative.
Sgt. Joe Friday (LAPD Ret.)Posted at 19:41h, 25 March
” * All firearms were returned to evidence
*The money was refunded to firearms purchasers
*Most, if not all, of the firearms, were purchased by SCSO employees”one with the authority to prosecute ”
Do you know what that looks like to me? It looks like an attempt to soften the “facts” – to make it easier for someone with the authority to prosecute to decline prosecution based partially on these “facts.”
In my opinion:
More importantly, of course, one must also keep in mind that the catalyst for the return of the firearms to evidence and the return of money to purchasers was, no doubt, the knowledge that there is an active investigation or a purported investigation.
Sorry perpetrators, but those actions do not relieve you of criminal culpability or accountability under the statutes. That’s like a thief saying that he or she returned the stolen money. And, it doesn’t even address the conflicting $ accounting.
I will tell you, over the years, I have seen firearms, often confiscated or seized, show the ugly or less logical side of people. People lose their common sense and ethics when it comes to guns. How stupid, foolish, and risky. How anyone could risk their reputation, their career, and/or their freedom for such a thing has always been puzzling to me.
Kirk AllenPosted at 20:19h, 25 March
They returned SOME of them after we busted them out in 2018. Only after the lies continued did this get turned over for a criminal investigation. The coverup is always worse than the crime!
PKPosted at 23:09h, 25 March
According to the General Assembly web-site, State Representative Brad Halbrook has made two prior attempts to move that legislation through. Both times it died in house committee. Persisting, Halbrook is sponsoring the legislation for a third time presently. Maybe he will pick up more co-sponsors this go around.
Sgt. Joe Friday (LAPD Ret.)Posted at 08:05h, 26 March
You are right, Kirk. I have seen MANY lose time, $, careers over the lie/coverup as opposed to the original wrong.
Seymour ButtsPosted at 13:59h, 27 March
Small side note. Shelby County has declared April 1st as Brad Halbrook day. Some people may confuse this with April Fool’s day. This is completely understandable.
Kirk AllenPosted at 14:22h, 27 March
What does Brad Halbrook have to do with anything in this article?
PKPosted at 13:08h, 01 April
I’m confused. Shelby County is still claiming a world-wide presence with: “WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION.” How long has that been goin on?