(STL.News) – Bernard Anthony Graham, age 27, of University Park, Illinois, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge James T. Moody upon his plea of guilty to assaulting a federal officer and for discharging a firearm during crime of violence, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch, II.
“My Office is dedicated to working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to bring offenders like this to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to bring criminals to justice. Their work is extraordinarily dangerous, and we are grateful for it. A law enforcement officer was shot and multiple lives were affected by reckless criminal actions that won’t be tolerated and will be aggressively prosecuted.”
“The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of this crime while also providing closure for the law enforcement community,” commented ATF Special Agent in Charge Kristen deTineo Chicago Field Division. “Each and every day, law enforcement risks their safety while protecting the communities they serve, and we thank the United States Attorney’s office for their continued partnership in the fight against violent criminals.”
According to documents in this case, on June 7, 2018, in Gary, Indiana, the defendant, co-defendant Blake King, and Raymon Truitt pretended to sell guns to customers but they really planned to rob the customers. The defendant’s role in the robbery was to provide security as Raymon Truitt negotiated with the customers and King presented the “buyers” with a bag supposedly containing firearms but actually only contained pots and pans. While this was occurring, Raymon Truitt utilized a firearm to rob the buyers, who were in fact ATF federal law enforcement agents, of $1,550 of United States currency. During this robbery, Truitt and Graham both opened fire on the agents, and an ATF agent was shot, placing his life in jeopardy.
Blake King was previously sentenced to 120 months imprisonment in December 2019. Raymon Truitt is deceased.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area officers and agents, the Indiana State Police, and the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas McGrath, Thomas Mahoney, and Nicholas Padilla.