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Man visiting Chicago receives 2 felony charges for possessing firearms in hotel room


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I'm not thoroughly familiar with Chicago law, but I am somewhat familiar.  I've carried and kept loaded handguns in my hotel room in Chicago many times.  I wouldn't even think of leaving one unsecured in the room though.  Of course this is the kind of thing that CNN and Lightfoot salivate over.  But from the information in the article, and I'm sure that if there was speculation to the contrary, CNN would have let us know, the guy wasn't a prohibited person, had no criminal background, and sans the boneheaded decision to leave firearms in his room unsecured, was probably a lot like many of us.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't wrap my mind around felony charges stemming from merely possessing a firearm that is legal to posses. 

 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/08/us/keegan-casteel-chicago-hotel-weapons-arrest/index.html

 

(CNN) An Iowa man is facing two felony charges after a loaded handgun and rifle were found in his Chicago hotel room July 4, near where hundreds of families were celebrating the holiday, prosecutors said.

Keegan Gregory Casteel, 32, is charged with two felony counts of aggravated unlawful use of weapons/loaded. He appeared in court Tuesday and was released after paying a portion of his $10,000 bond, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

Police said there was a handgun and a loaded .308 caliber rifle "equipped with a laser and high-powered scope" in Casteel's hotel room. Five rifle magazines were also found, according to Casteel's arrest report. 

The weapons were discovered by an employee of the W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel who went into Casteel's room to clean it, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday.

 

They were near a window "in a very suspicious position," Brown said. The employee "likely prevented a tragedy from happening," Brown said.

Casteel's 12th floor hotel room overlooked a portion of Chicago's Ohio Street Beach along Lake Michigan and Navy Pier, prosecutors said during Tuesday's hearing.

Brown noted the employee's discovery was significant because hotels have not been cleaning rooms daily due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The W Hotel has not responded to CNN's request for comment and it referred all questions from CNN affiliate WLS to the Chicago Police Department.

Casteel, who lives in Ankeny, Iowa, was released after paying a $1,000 cash bond. He doesn't have any previous criminal history or issues in federal databases, Brown said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told WLS she's "not happy" with the bond amount.

"This isn't a firearm for personal protection. What he had were weapons of war," Lightfoot said.

"Because he was charged with mere possession and legally, here in our city, the charges weren't of the type that he could have been held. But luckily, he was questioned by the joint terrorism task force. He is now under radar screening of the FBI."

Casteel will be allowed to reside in Iowa and travel back and forth for the duration of the case, court documents show. He also had to surrender the weaponry to the Chicago Police Department and was ordered to stay away from the W Hotel.

Judge David R. Navarro told Casteel Tuesday that he understands the man is permitted to possess firearms in his home state of Iowa, but added, "clearly we are not in Iowa."

Casteel's permit doesn't allow him to carry or have his weapons in Chicago, prosecutors said.

Casteel is scheduled to appear in court July 14 in Skokie, Illinois.

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4 hours ago, 10-Ring said:

Brown noted the employee's discovery was significant because hotels have not been cleaning rooms daily due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This is significant, why was the cleaning person in the room?? Granted he was a putz for leaving loaded firearms unsecured. And I too would have to question why he had a loaded .308 rifle. A handgun I can understand. When I used to travel a lot I would put my handgun inside my laptop bag and go on about my business when I left the room for a meeting or such. Now I can understand him wanting more firepower than a handgun in the crime ridden chi town. It is folks like him that give gunowners a bad name.

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This is just my opinion, the man’s first mistake was going to Chicago with firearms on his person. The second mistake was leaving a loaded rifle with magazines loaded in a hotel room overlooking a busy street. I just have two words for this 

“DUMB ASS”!!!

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5 hours ago, 10-Ring said:

They were near a window "in a very suspicious position," Brown said. The employee "likely prevented a tragedy from happening," Brown said.

I can kinda see their point. It is Chicago after all and any firearm is a no-no. Stranger in town, long range rifle with a view of the beach.? Maybe he's just an idiot, but just maybe he had other plans. I guess we'll never know. 

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At the worst this was a mass shooting prevented...at the least the idiot needs to practice better firearms storage and safety not to mention be on top of local gun laws.  Rare case where I think the cleaning person did the right thing and he deserves whatever the courts decide.

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Kinda makes ya wonder why the cleaning person was in THAT room, since, as the article stated, they hadn't been cleaning rooms for a bit. And, why didn't the doofus put out the "Do Not Disturb" door hanger? But it also makes me wonder what HE was up to. And why would anyone be dumb enough to go to chicago in the first place?

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Being Chicago I can see a hand gun for protection. But to have that type of rifle with him along with 5 back up loaded magazines leaves me wondering what was this guy up to?.......JMHO 

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4 minutes ago, bersaguy said:

Being Chicago I can see a hand gun for protection. But to have that type of rifle with him along with 5 back up loaded magazines leaves me wondering what was this guy up to?.......JMHO 

Just a well-heeled visitor to a war zone

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9 minutes ago, JeffL said:

Article I read said room service spotted it. They've edited it several times since then though. https://cwbchicago.com/2021/07/mayor-says-housekeeper-likely-prevented-a-tragedy-by-reporting-two-gun-arsenal-in-streeterville-hotel-room.html

 

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I'm not so sure that the larger weapon meets the ATF criteria for a rifle.  I guess if it sounds good for a CNN story it would be a rifle. 

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Posted (edited)

Should he have discretely stored the weapons in a secure manner, 100%. Was he dumb for leaving things how they were, 100%. I still have a hard time seeing where he should be charged with any crime at all. 
 

How many of y’all travel with equivalent set ups? I know I do. If I were to stay in a hotel, I’d bring them into the room with me and not leave them in a vehicle where they would be at a much higher risk of left.

Edited by Chucktshoes
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Posted (edited)

This entire story is odd. I'm sympathetic to a point but I do find it odd that he would bring a loaded .308 rifle into his room. I can understand traveling with a handgun. When I went to Chiraq I took my Glock 19 but I left it in a lock box hidden inside our vehicle since I couldn't legally have it on me. 

To clarify, I don't have an issue with traveling with a long gun. I've done it. But I'm not going to bring a loaded rifle into a hotel and I'm not going to leave it out for hotel staff to find. 

Edited by Erik88
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1 hour ago, res308 said:

Kinda makes ya wonder why the cleaning person was in THAT room, since, as the article stated, they hadn't been cleaning rooms for a bit. And, why didn't the doofus put out the "Do Not Disturb" door hanger? But it also makes me wonder what HE was up to. And why would anyone be dumb enough to go to chicago in the first place?

I agree with all of that. Especially the last sentence.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

Waddaminut! I read the article and its says his wife was there? Never heard of a mass murderer taking his wife along. ❓

This story is getting weirder by the minute. 🙄

Where did you get that?  From this “update”:  😀

Update July 7, 9:25 p.m. — After bonding out on Wednesday, Keegan Casteel presented a ring and proposed to his girlfriend, the wife of his children, as a gaggle of TV news cameras and reporters looked on. Police previously said the woman who was in the hotel room with Casteel was his wife.”

Edited by Garufa
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Ok, I missed the update. 🙄

But this is in the original article: "Casteel’s wife answered the door when police knocked around 6:45 p.m., "

Like I said, weirder by the minute. 

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Well I am taking all of what I am reading with a grain of salt by Sun Times and what is coming out of CNN cause if there isn't really anything in the beginning by the time they get done he will be a mass murderer and have 20 guns in the room. The guy made two mistakes.1 Going to Chicago and 2 taking firearms with him. I spoke with a friend that lives in Lockport Illinois 28 miles from Chicago and he has not been to Chicago in 11 years and has no plans in going any time soon. He actually avoids going to anything in Cook county period.

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7 minutes ago, Chucktshoes said:

This story is only weird due to the histrionic reporting involved. 
 

I hope dude manages to beat the charges because they’re BS.

I doubt he will beat it. It will cost him something. This is Chicago we are talking about here!!!!!

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5 minutes ago, bersaguy said:

Can anyone here confirm that 2 guns and 4 magazines can be considered an Arsenal as the Mayor has declared it to be??

Yes i can confirm that is an arsenal if you look at their playbook. Now my playbook suggests that's just daily carry stuff. Lord help me if they look in my truck. Lol.

I will say if I had to travel to certain areas in our country common sense would prevail and I would "declutter" and follow their laws to a T. Not worth risking everything by doing aomething stupid. 

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Posted (edited)

The “rifle” mags in that pic aren’t loaded, the pistol mags are.  My understanding is the “rifle” was loaded.    Did they unload those clips so they wouldn’t spontaneously jump up into the gun and start a massacre before the photo-op?

Edited by Garufa
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2 minutes ago, TripleGGG said:

Yes i can confirm that is an arsenal if you look at their playbook. Now my playbook suggests that's just daily carry stuff. Lord help me if they look in my truck. Lol.

I will say if I had to travel to certain areas in our country common sense would prevail and I would "declutter" and follow their laws to a T. Not worth risking everything by doing aomething stupid. 

With all of the guns floating around Chicago if he was going to be forced to go there for any reason I would say he didn't have enough with him if he would have had to defend himself and he would be seriously out gunned.

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