The Gangfighters Network is an organization designed to bridge the gap between academia and the criminal justice professions. For more information, visit and The focus is on gangs, initially adult gangs as it appears they have been ignored or absorbed into the mainstream society. There's a special focus on gang members in the military.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anti-tank rocket launcher among 14 weapons seized on the West Side of Chicago

Rocket launcher (top center) among 14 weapons seized by CPD Police photo

Nothing good can come from street gang members in possession of a military-style rocket launcher, and Chicago police have made sure nothing bad will come of it either.

The department's Organized Crime Division confiscated the launcher and 13 other weapons after executing several search warrants on the West Side.

Charged in the case is Andre Tatum, 41, of the 800 block of North Lawler. Police say he's a member of the 4-Corner Hustler's street gang. He's charged with 11 counts of misdemeanor firearms possession and one count of misdemeanor possession of ammunition.

A spokesperson from News Affairs could not say why the State's Attorney's Office approved misdemeanor as opposed to felony charges. If Tatum is not a convicted felon and has a valid FOID card, that may be two reasons the charges aren't upgraded.

In Tatum's home alone, police recovered 5 semi-automatic handguns, 2 shotguns, 4 rifles and 15 boxes of ammo.

Another warrant executed at a different location turned up 3 additional weapons, including the LAW Rocket. LAW stands for light anti-tank weapon and it's a one-shot only weapon, according to a CPD press release. I haven't seen any tanks rolling down the streets of Chicago recently, though with this type of weaponry out there, maybe law enforcement should consider investing in a few.

February 13, 8:58 AMChicago Crime ExaminerDeborah O'Malley

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