Published on September 13th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
South Side gang member sentenced for role in drug dealing crew
A South Side gang member who boasted “guns are really easy to get in Indiana” was on Friday sentenced to 11 years behind bars for his role in a deadly drug dealing crew.
Charles Golden, 32, was allegedly just about to retaliate for the shooting of one his pals in the Roseland neighborhood’s so-called “Killing Crew” when he was nabbed in a joint Chicago Police and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco operation in the summer of 2006.
Though he was only convicted of a crack cocaine dealing charge, authorities say his case illustrates how Chicago criminals take advantage of Indiana’s less strict gun laws.
Only a driver’s license is needed to buy a gun in Indiana, while, in Illinois, a firearm owner’s identification card is required.
Wiretapped conversations in which Golden and the “Killing Crew’s” alleged leader Rashod Bethany arranged for a friend to buy two handguns from an Indiana pawn shop were played in court Friday for Judge Ronald Guzman.
Prosecutor Jeff Perconte said the desperate tone of the calls showed that Golden and Bethany wanted the guns fast so they could exact revenge for the shooting of their pal Shannon Evans but defense attorney Steven Saltzman said Golden only wanted the guns for “self-defense.”
Guzman said retaliatory shootings and self-defense are “often the same thing” in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. But he said Golden had been “immersed in the lifestyle of drugs and violence” for most of his life and that “the public is entitled to be protected” from career criminals like Golden, who has spent most of his adult life behind bars.
The 11-year sentence he imposed on Golden roughly split the difference between the five year sentence Saltzman asked for and the 15 year minimum the government requested.
Source: suntimes.com “South Side gang member sentenced for role in drug dealing crew,” September 12, 2013.