Chicago-area man sentenced in drugs-for-guns scheme

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a suburban Chicago man to 16 years behind bars for putting dozens of guns in the hands of known street-gang members.

Prosecutors say 36-year-old Walter Freeman of Lisle often exchanged crack cocaine for guns. He’d then later sell the weapons to gang members.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sentenced Freeman Wednesday in Chicago.

Prosecutor Jennie Levin said Freeman had “directly contributed to … violence” and had “victimized the entire Chicago community.”

Freeman pleaded guilty last year to knowingly distributing a controlled substance and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

The ATF has said many of the weapons Freeman sold were later linked to shootings and other crimes in and around the city.