Chicago man gets 9 years for robbing undercover ATF agent during illegal gun sale

Randy Durr in a 2021 Chicago police mugshot and the Mariano’s parking lot where he allegedly robbed an undercover ATF agent. (Chicago Police Department, Google)

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced this week to nine years in federal prison for robbing an undercover federal agent who was trying to buy a gun from him in Bronzeville. Randy Durr, 21, pleaded guilty to robbing a person in possession of U.S. government funds and using a firearm during a violent crime.

In about a week in November 2022, Durr sold the agent two “ghost guns” for $1,200 to $1,300 each and arranged to sell him four more guns for $5,200, officials said. Like before, the men met in the agent’s car, equipped with audio and video recording devices, in the parking lot of a Mariano’s in Bronzeville.

As the agent counted $5,200 from a stack of $6,500 that he brought to the meeting, Durr allegedly pulled out a gun, pointed it at the agent while holding his finger on the trigger, and took $5,000 of the money.

“I’ll shoot, n***er,” Durr allegedly threatened.

Law enforcement vehicles swarmed the parking lot, but Durr sped away, striking some of the agents’ cars as he did so.

In a sentencing memo, federal prosecutors said Durr “raced through the rain-slicked afternoon streets, going so fast that he lost agents who were themselves putting the pedal to the floor.” The agents terminated the chase at Lake Shore Drive and arrested Durr at his home later that day. Investigators allegedly recovered a gun and $4,700 of the government’s money at Durr’s house.

Durr was on bond for a felony manufacture-delivery of cannabis case at the time of the robbery and was also on probation for fleeing from police.

The federal charge of using a firearm during a violent crime carries a mandatory sentence of at least seven years. Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo to sentence Durr to seven years on that count plus a little more than four years for the robbery charge. 

“Short of pulling the trigger, there is virtually no conduct more serious than pointing a gun at someone at close range and threatening to shoot,” prosecutors said in their sentencing memorandum. “Even for a trained [undercover agent], this can only be a terrifying experience.”

Defense lawyer Jayne Ingles argued for sentences of seven years plus one day, saying Durr made a “detour into illegality” to support his family, including his two children. The crimes, Ingles wrote, were “a deviation from his hardworking past.”

Prosecutors conceded that Durr was a hard worker, holding down “two legitimate jobs at the time of the offenses.”

“Unfortunately, he seems to have also channeled his desire to make money into illicit—and dangerous—business. Selling ghost guns and robbing [undercover agents] certainly displays an entrepreneurial spirit, but one that risks devastating consequences unless [the] defendant is deterred from further criminal activity,” the prosecution memo stated.

Ultimately, Bucklo handed Durr the mandatory seven years plus two more for the robbery of U.S. funds.

About Tim Hecke 300 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