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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

March 27, 2009

Contact: Special Agent Thomas J. Ahern

Public Information Officer

(312) 846-7228

(312) 735-0675

Four Chicago Gang Members Convicted In Federal Court For Gun And Drug Crimes

Operation Sunrise

CHICAGO — Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern Judicial District of Illinois, Andrew L. Traver, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Jody Weis, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, today announced that Rondell “Nightfall” Freeman, 33; Brian Wilbourn, 31; Adam Sanders, 24; and Daniel Hill, 23; all former residents of the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago, were found guilty in U.S. District Court by a jury before Federal Judge Joan Lefkow yesterday of various illegal drug and firearms charges, including narcotics conspiracy.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel Cannon, Sharon Fairley, and Kruti Trivedi under the name “Operation Sunrise” as a result of a cooperative investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Chicago Police Department.

The four defendants were convicted by a federal jury on March 26 for, among other charges, conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Freeman was convicted of possessing a firearm in furtherance of the conspiracy. The defendants were major suppliers of crack cocaine in the Cabrini Green housing residences under the leadership of Freeman.

Freeman faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and his co-defendants each face a minimum of 20 years.

The four defendants are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting sentencing.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at