Rapper Lil Zay Osama jailed on machine gun charge after Chicago police helicopter chase. Cops explore links to armed robbery of NYC ‘Jeweler to the Stars’

Chicago-based rapper Isaiah Dukes, also known as “Lil Zay Osama,” is jailed in DuPage County tonight after a law enforcement task force allegedly found him in a car with a machine gun and jewelry that may be linked to the recent armed robbery of a “jeweler to the stars” in New York City.

Oak Brook police officers staked out a blue Dodge at the Oak Brook Place shopping mall Wednesday after receiving a tip that it may be linked to a man involved in the armed robbery of a jewelry store in New York, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said.

Cops followed the vehicle as it left the mall parking lot and watched the driver commit a series of traffic infractions before speeding away.

Unfortunately for the occupants of the car, the Chicago Police Department’s vehicular hijacking task force was working that night, supported by a high-tech federal helicopter and CPD’s air unit.

The task force helped Oak Brook officers track the Dodge until it stopped in the 6400 block of West Higgins.

Isaiah Dukes is seen in his DuPage County mugshot and a recent Instagram video recorded at the possible robbery victim’s Manhattan store. | DuPage County state’s attorney’s office; @bennydajeweler

Dukes, 26, and two other Chicago men, 19-year-old Travon Garland and Jeremiah Dawson, 21, were arrested shortly after they exited the car, DuPage County prosecutors said.

Cops searched the Dodge and found a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and a switch that makes it generate automatic gunfire like a machine gun, officials said. They also allegedly recovered another handgun with a 50-round drum magazine attached.

Dukes was wearing a necklace valued at about $90,000 that officials believe was taken during a robbery in New York, DuPage officials said.

Authorities did not elaborate on the robbery, but sources familiar with the investigation said it might be linked to the armed robbery of Benny Nisanov, also known as “Benny Da Jeweler,” in Manhattan on December 7.

In a report about the robbery last week, the New York Post called Nisanov an “A-list jeweler whose clients include Nicki Minaj [and] Usher.” The paper said only one piece of jewelry, a chain “valued at” $1 million, was taken in the heist.

Nisanov was with a client at a pop-up shop around 1:30 a.m. on December 7 when two men “carrying firearms and threatening to shoot” broke in, the newspaper reported.

Coincidentally, Dukes appeared in an Instagram video on Nisanov’s page just four days before the robbery, posing with jewelry and wearing an impressive necklace.

Nisanov may have gone to the store at the odd hour at the request of a prospective customer interested in making a purchase, the paper explained. Manhattan jewelers suspected the customer had set Nisanov up for the robbery, but the paper did not say who asked for the meet-up.

Dukes is charged with possessing a loaded machine gun, theft of stolen goods valued between $10,000 and $100,000, and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.

Dawson is charged with armed habitual criminal, possessing a loaded machine gun, unlawful possession of a weapon or ammunition by a felon, and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.

Prosecutors charged Garland with possessing a loaded machine gun, unlawful possession of a weapon or ammunition by a felon, and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number.

“The allegations that these men, none of whom were legally allowed to own a firearm, were heavily armed and led authorities on a high-speed chase during rush hour in the middle of the holiday shopping season are simply outrageous,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said in a press release. “The apprehension of these defendants sends the message that in DuPage County we will use every tool at our disposal, including the use of a helicopter, to keep our communities, retail establishments and streets safe.”

Dukes and the other men will remain jailed at least until their next court appearance, scheduled for January 8.

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About Tim Hecke 215 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com