2 men jailed after recording themselves passing a gun back and forth in front of a Chicago police surveillance camera

CHICAGO — Recording a video of yourself brandishing an illegally possessed firearm might be a bad idea. Doing it while standing under a Chicago Police Department surveillance camera is definitely a bad idea.

That’s precisely what prosecutors say Armando and Steven Ramirez did last week. Steven, officials add, was on “first-time weapon offender probation” for a previous gun case.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered both men jailed to await trial, saying electronic monitoring cannot ensure they won’t get their hands on more guns.

Prosecutors told Ahmad that a CPD surveillance camera team saw both men filming themselves as they passed a pistol with an extended magazine back and forth in the 800 block of West 29th Street around 1:30 a.m. on January 21.

The camera unit sent patrol cars to the scene as the men climbed into a nearby BMW SUV, police said. Armando, who was behind the wheel, drove away as cops walked up to his car. But the cops had already placed a spike strip in front of the 26-year-old’s BMW, and the tires began deflating as he sped away, according to his CPD arrest report.

Officers allegedly saw Steven Ramirez, 20, bail out of the car in the 2900 block of South Elias. They arrested him and recovered a loaded .40-caliber handgun equipped with an extended magazine nearby, the report said. Armando was arrested a short time later after the BMW’s tires gave out.

Armando Ramirez (left) and Steven Ramirez (Chicago Police Department; Wikimedia Commons)

Officers said they found one .40-caliber shell casing inside the BMW. The video they recorded on the phone showed them passing the gun and getting into the car “just a few seconds prior to” police arriving, the CPD report said. It also showed the police traffic stop that Armando allegedly drove away from.

Prosecutors told the judge that Armando Ramirez has two felony convictions, including a 2022 gun case.

Steven Ramirez is serving two years of “first-time weapons offender probation” in another gun case. If he successfully completes the probation, the court will dismiss that felony charge.

Both of the Ramirezes’ arrest reports say they are “documented Two Six street gang member[s].”

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