A Chicago Public School special education teacher was charged Wednesday with illegally supplying an extended handgun magazine, laser sight and two boxes of bullets to a convicted felon cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, authorities said.
Brent Turpin, a 53-year-old teacher at an Englewood CPS elementary school, is charged with conspiring to distribute firearms and ammunition to a known felon as well as distributing ammunition to a known felon, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Chicago Public Schools did not immediately respond to request for comment.
If convicted Turpin could face up to 15 years in federal prison.
A complaint filed in federal court describes Turban’s efforts to “secure a firearm” for the FBI informant along with “Juvenile A” at an Indiana gun show. The informant, the complaint states, was wearing a wire during the trip to the gun show. Juvenile A lived at Turban’s South Side home, the complaint states, and it is believed that Turban is the juvenile’s guardian.
Turpin allegedly instructed the informant on what to say and do while purchasing the gun, authorities said.
“If they ask you if you’re from Indiana, say yes,” Turpin told the informant, according to the complaint. “If they say where [are] you from, say like, say South Bend or something, or Indianapolis,” Turpin said, according to the complaint.
Turpin and the informant met with a gun dealer in June to buy two Glock handguns, according to the complaint. The deal did not go through because Turpin refused to show his driver’s license to the gun seller, the complaint states.
Turpin did, however, supply ammunition, the laser sight and extended magazine to the informant in August, the complaint says.
“As part of its investigation, the FBI has obtained information that Turpin is supplying firearms and ammunition to felons as well as to juveniles,” the complaint reads, explaining its enlisting the informant’s assistance.
The informant told “Juvenile A” that he and other gang members needed guns to protect themselves, the complaint states. The juvenile then told the informant he would tell Turpin to get a gun for him, the complaint states.
In a recorded conversation between Turpin and the informant, the complaint says, the CPS teacher instructed the informant to “wipe those [bullets] down before you put them in anything … [Juvenile A] touched them.”
Authorities say Turpin gave those instructions because he was concerned the juvenile’s fingerprints may be on the bullets and he did not want them traced back to himself or the child if they were used in a crime.
According to the complaint, Turpin was also involved in conversations about procuring firearms in Oklahoma and Michigan.
Turpin, who was arrested Tuesday, was scheduled to appear at a detention hearing Wednesday afternoon.
Published 44 minutes ago | Updated 6 minutes ago