The owner of the West Side home in which police found nearly 60 guns last week told law enforcement that his cache of weapons was just a collection, court records show.
However, because he was convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of a 10-year-old boy in the mid-1980s, Henry Reyes was barred from possessing any weapons, according to federal authorities.
A federal criminal complaint filed Monday focuses on just one of the guns recovered last week in his home in the 4300 block of West Cullerton Street. The complaint alleges that Reyes, 52, illegally possessed a semi-automatic pistol with a defaced serial number that was found in his attic during a Thursday night raid carried out by tactical officers in the Chicago Police Department’s Ogden District.
In all, police said they found “approximately” 31 handguns, 19 rifles and eight shotguns, along with a host of ammunition.
“Reyes told officers that he collects guns and that the guns in the attic were his collection,” the complaint states.
The Bureau of Prisons website says Reyes is currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown.
In 1986, Reyes was one of four men convicted of murdering 10-year-old Bobby Hughes in West Town a year earlier.
Prosecutors said Reyes — who was 19 at the time — and the others were gang members seeking to “hit” a member of a rival gang that had beaten one of their colleagues a few days earlier.
After spotting a rival gang member, who was with 10 other people on a porch in the 1300 block of North Greenview Avenue, Reyes and two others opened fire, fatally striking Hughes in the chest. A man who was the intended target was shot in the groin.
Reyes and the other two shooters pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 30 years in prison. The getaway driver also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years.
Announcing the proceeds of the raid last week, police theorized that Reyes was selling guns out of his home — an idea that Reyes’ neighbors were not buying.
One neighbor even posited that Reyes was a gun collector.
“If he did have that many guns, that’s because he just kept them,” said Kevin Butler, who has lived on the same block for decades. “But as far as selling? That man ain’t sell no guns. He could’ve been a collector or he could’ve been holding them for somebody.
“That man didn’t sell no guns.”
Despite his conviction that prevented him from legally owning a gun, Reyes apparently didn’t make a secret of his affinity for firearms.
The day after the raid, there were still two signs visible in his home’s front window.
One sign, which featured a picture of two revolvers, read: “We don’t dial 911.” The other sign, which also featured a picture of revolver, read: “The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes. The response time of a .357 is 1,400 feet per second.”
Also arrested in the raid was David Colon, who police said is Reyes’ stepson. Colon, 24, was charged with one count of felony possession of a controlled substance as well as two counts of misdemeanor possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said Colon’s bail was set at $5,000. However, Colon was on probation at the time of his arrest — he pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen car in February, court records show — and he was ordered to be held without bail in that case. He is scheduled to appear in court in Skokie on Tuesday.