An “arsenal” of weapons? That gets you probation in Chicago

A North Side man accused of having a trove of guns, ammunition, and steroids in his home during a police raid two years ago has reached a plea deal that will keep him out of prison.

Cops who executed a search warrant at James Mather’s home in Bucktown on August 8, 2019, allegedly found three pistols, three rifles, a silencer, fifteen loaded ammunition magazines, and boxes of ammunition, and anabolic steroids — while he was already on bail for domestic battery.

After CWBChicago reported that a judge allowed Mather to get out of jail by posting just $500, the Chicago Police Department’s chief spokesperson called the gun seizure an “arsenal” and questioned if such low bail amounts are what Chicagoans really want.

Mather, now 34, was not home during the raid. Cops arrested him the next day.

James Mather and the items police said they seized from his home. | CPD

Prosecutors charged him with felony possession of a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner ID (FOID) as well as five misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor possession of exploding bullets, misdemeanor possession of anabolic steroid, and a city violation of possessing a firearm silencer.

The state agreed to drop all charges except one count of possessing a firearm while ineligible to hold a Firearm Owner’s ID card. In return for his guilty plea, Mather received a sentence of two years probation and credit for 487 days he spent on electronic monitoring. He also paid $974 in fines and court costs, records show.

Judge Catherine Haberkorn oversaw the case.

At the time of the police raid, Mather was on bond for misdemeanor domestic battery and criminal damage to property. The domestic battery charge was later dropped, but he did a year of supervised release on the criminal damage case, which court records show also had a domestic element. A judge terminated the supervision satisfactorily in September 2020.

Our exclusive and original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please make a contribution to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.

About CWBChicago 6713 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is