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Man sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for role in ambush of ATF agents

Man sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for role in ambush of ATF agents

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Bernard Graham

Bernard Graham

HAMMOND — An Illinois man was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a federal officer and firing a gun during a robbery.

On Tuesday, Bernard Anthony Graham, 27, of University Park, Illinois, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge James T. Moody to 153 months in prison for his role in a 2018 ambush of U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives  (ATF) agents in Gary. 

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Upon serving his sentence, Graham will be placed on supervised release for two years, court records show.

Graham signed a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in September, in which he admitted to firing a gun on June 7, 2018, during a robbery of two undercover ATF agents investigating illicit gun purchases in Gary's Emerson neighborhood, according to a previous Times report.

See an evening on patrol with Lake County Sheriff's Officer Stevie Gill in the sixth installment for the Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops series. Interview by Anna Ortiz. Filmed by Kale Wilk. Produced by Nat Cardona.

Graham, along with Blake King, of Chicago, and Raymon Truitt II, of Gary, met with undercover agents under the guise of selling firearms to the men. However, the trio planned to rob the gun buyers, court records state.

Graham was supposed to "provide security," while Truitt negotiated with the buyers and King presented them with a bag that was supposed to contain firearms, but was actually filled with pots and pans. 

During the sale, Truitt used a firearm to rob the buyers, who were ATF agents, of $1,550. 

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Both Truitt and Graham opened fire on the agents; one undercover agent was wounded, court records state. Truitt died during the shootout. 

In December 2019, King was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the ambush. 

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at or 219-853-2563.

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