Guns found in suburban storage unit allegedly linked to Mexico cartel

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In newly obtained court records uncovered by the I-Team, authorities say they've traced an arsenal found in an Elgin storage locker to a phony gun buying scheme in the suburbs and to a Mexican drug cartel. Now, investigators say the weapons hidden in a Public Storage unit in Elgin were packaged and ready to be sent across the border. In court filings, a federal investigator describes how two of the rifles found were wrapped in "cellophane and newspaper" and surrounded by a "mixture of Windex and Chocolate Quik" -- an apparent attempt to avoid K9 detection during transport across the border.

Prosecutors say testimony shows that Favio Velazquez told investigators he was working for a man nicknamed "Flaco" and graduated from collecting drug money to purchasing firearms for the "14 Brothers" drug cartel in Mexico. In grand jury testimony, federal investigators say Velazquez told them that he would deliver firearms to "someone in Chicago" and then they'd be "distributed to various Public Storage facilities through the Chicagoland area" -- like the Elgin unit.

Velazquez, Ira Burdine and Dana Prouty are all now charged in Kane County with Unlawful Purchase of firearms related to the gun cache. They and all other defendants in the related cases have pleaded not guilty. After a court hearing this week where his attorney filed a motion to dismiss his indictment - Burdine had nothing to say. Burdine used to work part-time at what was then called 1st Class Firearms in Zion. Federal investigators say they traced the guns in the storage unit there. The store's owner, Craig Bricco told the I-Team Burdine was a family friend. "Ira, I've known him since he was a baby, he was the son of my best friend, I never really watched him really close, I didn't know what he was doing," Bricco said.

RELATED: Suburban Chicago cache of guns connected to alleged cross-border crime conspiracy

One of the defendants in the federal case in Southern California linked to the Elgin arsenal changed his plea to guilty this week to using his family owned trucking business' tractor-trailer to transport kilos of cocaine from Southern California to Chicago for delivery.
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