La Crosse man accused of gun-dealing scheme in Chicago

Chicago News USA

A La Crosse man is facing federal gun charges after he was accused of conspiring to buy guns in Wisconsin for resale in Chicago.

Kirk Valentine, 23, was charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license.

According to court records, Valentine purchased 19 handguns at Wisconsin stores, gun shows and pawn shops — including ones in Sparta, Onalaska and Holmen — then selling them to a Francisco Rocha, 28, of Chicago, for resale in Illinois.

Kirk Valentine mug


Rocha recruited Valentine, who purchased the firearms from March 2018 to June 2018 as directed by Rocha, falsely certifying on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives forms that the guns were for his personal use, according to the federal indictment.

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Valentine purchased three .380 pistols March 8 at Gander Outdoors in Onalaska; a 7.62 by .39 caliber pistol from Warrior Arms LLC and a 10 millimeter pistol from Eisen Arms LLC March 23 at Rocco’s Gun Show in Onalaska; and a 9 millimeter pistol on April 13 from Big Rooster in Sparta, according to the indictment.

He also purchased two 9 millimeter pistols May 13 from Ace Hardware in La Crosse; two more .380 pistols May 13 from Holmen Pawn Shop; and two 9 millimeter pistols May 19 from Warrior Arms LLC at the Bob and Rocco Gun Show, according to court records.

He’s further accused of purchasing seven pistols May 19 at the Bob and Rocco Gun Show in Union Grove, Wis., including: a .380 pistol, two 10 millimeter pistols, a .357 caliber revolver, two 9 mm pistols and a .40 caliber pistol.

According to the indictment, Valentine sold the guns to Rocha at a mark-up, then Rocha sold them in Chicago.

Valentine, who turned himself in Aug. 5, was released on bond and is due in court again Sept. 17.

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