CHICAGO — A four-time convicted felon has picked up a fifth felony conviction by pleading guilty to having a gun in the cab of a U-Haul truck as he drove around River North in the aftermath of a massive looting spree in August 2020.
Almost as interesting as what happened to Marcus Strozier is what the guy cops found hiding in the truck’s cargo area (with another gun) has been up to.
Authorities had sealed off the downtown area on August 10, 2020, as they tried to prevent another wave of looting like the one that ravaged the area the night before.
Chicago police transit officers pulled Strozier over in the 500 block of North Clark for making an improper lane change with his U-Haul truck around 11:35 p.m., officials said. Similar trucks had been used to ram storefronts and carry away vast amounts of merchandise from stores during looting sprees in May 2020 and again the night before.
Prosecutors said police heard noises coming from the U-Haul’s cargo area as they placed Strozier into custody for failing to provide a driver’s license and proof of insurance.
When officers opened the truck’s rear door, they allegedly found 18-year-old Brian Duren hiding inside with a handgun. Another gun was found in the truck’s cab, where Strozier had been.
Strozier bailed out, went on electronic monitoring, and disappeared in April 2022. Officials finally caught up with him again in January.
According to court records, he has now pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, reduced from Class X armed habitual criminal, in connection with the 2020 case. Judge Michael McHale handed him a six-year sentence.
Prosecutors dropped an escape from electronic monitoring charge in their plea deal.
Meanwhile, Duren, the guy police found in the U-Haul’s cargo area, has been keeping himself busy in court.
While on bail for the 2020 case, he picked up a second felony gun charge after Chicago police responding to a ShotSpotter alert said they found a loaded handgun in his waistband in February 2021.
He pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon in both cases and received concurrent one-year sentences from Judge McHale, court records show.
Currently, Duren is on electronic monitoring, awaiting trial on a new charge of Class X armed habitual criminal. Prosecutors said Chicago police found a loaded handgun in his jacket during a traffic stop in the South Loop on February 26.