SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A Chicago Public Schools special education teacher had a side gig, according to the feds—dealing ammunition and firearms accessories on the South Side.
Brent Turpin, who taught at Kershaw Elementary School at 6450 S. Lowe Ave., faces one count each of conspiracy to dispose of a firearm and ammunition to a known felon, and disposing of ammunition to a known felon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office and CPS records.
Turpin was suspended from teaching Wednesday when CPS learned of the allegations, a school spokesman said.
“The vast majority of CPS employees embrace their unique opportunity to serve as positive role models for young people in our city, which makes these allegations so disturbing and out of the ordinary for our school district,” a statement from CPS said.
“The employee in question has been removed from his position while the investigation proceeds, and our staff is focused on supporting the school community during this difficult time.”
Turpin, 53, illegally supplied an extended handgun magazine, laser sight and two boxes of ammunition to a felon, according to federal prosecutors.
He gave the ammunition and accessories to the felon—who unbeknownst to Turpin was cooperating with the FBI—earlier this month at his South Side home, according to prosecutors.
Turpin also tried to secure a firearm for the informant at a gun show in Indiana earlier this summer, according to the feds.
As they traveled together to the show, Turpin instructed the informant on what to say and do.
“If they ask you if you’re from Indiana, say yes,” Turpin told the informant, according to prosecutors. “If they say where [are] you from, say like, South Bend or something, or Indianapolis.”
Turpin and the informant met with a gun dealer at the show, but it did not result in a deal because Turpin refused to present his driver’s license, according to the feds.
Turpin, who makes $78,000 a year as a teacher, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted of both counts.
He was arrested Tuesday and scheduled to appear for a detention hearing before U.S. Judge M. David Weisman on Wednesday afternoon.
Turpin has taught at Kershaw since 2010, and previously worked at Lathrop Elementary School in 2008 and Charles Hughes Elementary in 2009, according to CPS.