Gun charges are pending against two men who were each caught by police under unusual circumstances. One is a twice-convicted violent felon. The other is currently awaiting trial for another gun possession case.
On the floor
Police said they pulled 33-year-old Cipriano Rivera over after he ran a stop sign and failed to signal a turn near the United Center on Saturday afternoon. When officers approached his truck, they noticed something unusual: There were four spent shell casings on the floor next to his feet, according to police records.
As Rivera was being detained, the officers heard a “shots fired” call dispatched nearby. Around the same time, other officers allegedly located a handgun about one block north of where Rivera pulled over, along the path that he had just driven.
Police said a witness identified Rivera as the person who fired shots and struck a garage and a vehicle minutes earlier. Police said surveillance video showed his truck was used in the shooting.
Prosecutors charged Rivera with being an armed habitual criminal, which is a Class X felony, along with felony reckless discharge of a firearm and misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Two traffic citations were also issued. Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him held without bail.
Court records show that Rivera has multiple gun and narcotics convictions in his past. He was sentenced to two concurrent three-year terms for a being a felon in possession of a weapon in 2011. In 2008, he was sentenced to two years for manufacture-delivery of crack cocaine.
Update April 7, 2022 — Federal prosecutors charged Rivera federally for illegally possessing a handgun as a felon. Rivera pleaded guilty on April 5, 2022. He received a sentence of nine years from U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman.
An 18-year-old man who is awaiting trial for possessing a firearm in the summer of 2018 is now charged with more felonies after police allegedly caught him carrying an AK-47 on a stolen Divvy bike.
Police said they stopped Leon Joiner on the 100 block of East 107th Street around 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 17 because he was riding a Divvy bike on the sidewalk. A black plastic bag was attached to the bike’s front basket with a bungee cord, police said.
Divvy reportedly told officers that the bike Joiner was riding had been stolen on Aug. 23, so police began to prepare him for arrest. As they did, one officer discovered a surprise inside the black plastic bag: A loaded 16-inch AK-47 with an extended magazine, according to prosecutors.
Joiner is charged with felony unlawful use of a rifle; felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor theft of lost or mislaid property, and riding a bike on a sidewalk. Police said he is a self-admitted member of the Gangster Disciples street gang.
Judge Oritz set bail at $50,000. However, Joiner is being held without bail for violating the terms of his release in the July 2018 gun incident.
In that case, which is still awaiting trial, Joiner allegedly pointed a gun at a woman in the Grand Crossing neighborhood and fled in a car. Police said they quickly located the car and found a gun where Joiner had been sitting.
Joiner is facing 15 felony gun charges in that case. He had been free on a $1,000 deposit bond as set by Judge Stephanie Miller.