A 49-year-old Oak Park woman was charged in federal court with conspiring to straw purchase 18 firearms out of state on behalf of a convicted felon. The felon, a man from Oak Park previously convicted for murder, was charged for possessing illegal firearms.

The woman, Sonya Brown, traveled to Wisconsin and purchased the weapons from licensed dealers at stores and gun shows earlier this year. Brown then falsely certified on federal forms that she was a Wisconsin resident and the actual buyer of the guns, according to a release issued May 9 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Brown is alleged to have actually purchased the firearms on behalf of 49-year-old Simone Dunn, with whom she lives in Oak Park. Dunn was out on parole from the murder conviction at the time the firearms were purchased. He has also been previously convicted of other felonies. His status as a convicted felon bars him from legally owning a firearm.

Dunn and Brown were both arrested May 8. The charges were announced by Morris Pasqual, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, with Christopher Amon, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Straw purchasers enable the unlawful possession of firearms and the violence that too often follows,” Pasqual said in the release.  “Our office is committed to stopping the flow of guns to individuals who cannot legally possess them.”

If convicted on the conspiracy charge, Brown could spend as many as five years in federal prison. The unlawful possession charge against Dunn is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 10 years.

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