- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal authorities say a purported Chicago-area mob associate facing gun charges bragged about threatening people with a blow-torch.

Documents filed Thursday in federal court says Charles Russell of Schaumburg has a criminal record, including a stint in prison for murder. Agents say he claimed in one wiretapped call to be a mobster.

The criminal complaint says Russell spoke to an informant about breaking into someone’s home safe. He says: “I bring my butane torch, put it on the bottom of their feet. … They open it.”

Russell is accused of receiving guns Wednesday. Unaware he was about to be arrested, agents say Russell told the informant, “It’ll be a great Christmas.”

It wasn’t known if Russell has a lawyer who could be contacted for comment.

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