Thursday, August 15, 2019

Cops say he had all of these guns and explosive ammo — a judge lets him go for $500

James Mather (inset) and a collection of guns, ammunition, and accessories that police accuse him of having. | CPD
A North Side man posted just $500 to get out of jail after police allegedly found five six firearms, explosive bullets, a silencer, and anabolic steroids during a raid last week.

Officers from the Shakespeare District armed with a search warrant raided a home in the 2900 block of North Western Avenue shortly before 11 p.m. on Aug. 8th, according to a police department spokesperson.

The search yielded a trove of guns, ammunition, and narcotics, but the target of the search warrant was not present, the spokesperson said.

James C. Mather, 33, was arrested the next day when police returned to the Western Avenue address.

Prosecutors charged Mather with felony possession of a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner ID (FOID) as well as five misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor possession of exploding bullets, misdemeanor possession of anabolic steroid, and a city violation of possessing a firearm silencer.

State law defines an “explosive bullet” as an “ammunition cartridge which contains or carries an explosive charge which will explode upon contact with the flesh of a human or an animal.”

Judge Arthur Willis set bail at $5,000 and Mather went free by posting a 10% deposit bond of $500. Chicago Police Department records show that Mather was charged with domestic battery and criminal damage to property on July 8th. He was arrested again for domestic battery on July 23rd, CPD records show. The outcomes of those cases were not immediately available.

Lincoln Park gun arrest

Frank Saporito | CPD
Police recovered a handgun and arrested a man after officers were flagged down by a concerned citizen in Lincoln Park late last month. The witness told police that they just saw a man with a handgun go down an alley behind the 2200 block of North Lincoln around 4 a.m. on July 27th.

Police stopped 40-year-old Frank Saporito nearby because he resembled the gunman’s description as provided by the witness. After the witness identified Saporito, officers found a handgun in the alley where the witness said the gunman had gone.

Prosecutors charged Saporito with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and obstructing identification. Judge Charles Beach set bail at $20,000. However, Saporito is being held without bail on an unrelated warrant.

From six felonies to one misdemeanor

Sam Jimenez | CPD
A man who was charged with six felony gun counts in connection with an incident outside a River North nightclub last autumn has reached a sweet plea deal.

Police said in a press release last year that Sam Jimenez Jr approached a group of people outside a nightclub on the 300 block of West Huron and struck a man in the face with a handgun on Halloween night. During a struggle for control of the gun, Jimenez “discharged the weapon several times,” the CPD statement said. He allegedly fled the scene after a bystander gained control of the weapon, but police arrested him nearby a short time later.

A grand jury returned a true bill charging Jimenez with six felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

But prosecutors this month reached a plea agreement with the 22-year-old in which he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of reckless conduct. Prosecutors dropped all of the weapons charges, and Judge Earl Hoffenberg sentenced Jimenez to a year of court supervision.

Life’s a beach

William Cage | CPD
An Elgin man who was charged with bringing a loaded handgun to North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day weekend last year has also reached a favorable plea agreement with prosecutors.

William Cage, 22, told police that he forgot to remove his brother’s handgun from his backpack before taking the bag to the beach on May 28, 2018. Officers found the weapon during a routine search at an alcohol checkpoint, police said.

Cage was charged with two felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. But prosecutors agreed to drop both felony counts and allowed him to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of carrying a firearm. Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan approved the deal and sentenced Cage to a year of misdemeanor probation and 30 hours of community service.
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