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South suburban man acquitted of giving gun to felon

Police and prosecutors have said they suspect that alleged murderer Arthur Mendez used a gun he received from Sabastian Torres, but the murder weapon hasn’t been recovered.

Sabastian Torres
Sabastian Torres
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A federal jury has acquitted a south suburban man of charges that he provided a .357-caliber revolver to a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a gun.

Sabastian Torres, of Chicago Heights, was accused of transferring the gun to a felon on May 4, 2018. He was found not guilty on Aug. 15.

Torres was able to buy guns legally with his valid state firearm owner’s identification card, but wasn’t allowed to provide a gun to a felon, authorities said.

The felon, Arthur Mendez, was on parole and living with Torres, according to a court filing. In an interview, Torres told a federal agent that he was a former member of the Latin Counts gang and Mendez was a member, court records said.

Mendez, 22, is facing a murder charge in the June 2, 2018, shooting of 25-year-old Nicole DeLeon in South Chicago Heights.

Police and prosecutors have said they suspected Mendez used a gun he received from Torres, but the murder weapon hasn’t been recovered.