- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) - A trial linked to the theft of 27 handguns and six assault rifles from a train at a Norfolk Southern rail yard in Chicago has started in federal court.

Prosecutors began their presentation against Cameron Battiste on Monday by displaying a Smith & Wesson assault rifle and pistol to the jury that they say were once in Battiste’s possession. He is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon stemming from the 2016 heist at the rail yard on Chicago’s South Side.

The 36-year-old isn’t charged directly with the theft of the guns, though prosecutors say there’s evidence he was involved. Prosecutors’ focus is on DNA evidence they say proves he possessed the weapons. The defense is expected to challenge that evidence.

Community leaders have said a spate of gun thefts during the past five years from the same rail yard put adjacent neighborhoods at risk.

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