Vernon Hills teen accused of ties to white supremacist group pleads not guilty to gun charges

Updated 5/17/2018 2:23 PM
  • Jakub Zak

    Jakub Zak

A Vernon Hills teen accused of wearing clothing touting a white supremacist group pleaded not guilty Thursday to a slew of charges for possessing firearms, ammunition, and parts to make more guns without a valid Illinois FOID card.

During the arraignment hearing in Lake County court, Judge John J. Scully also ordered 19-year-old Jakub Zak to turn over to police any gun parts he might still have. The judge's decision expands a previous bail condition that ordered Zak not be in possession of any weapons or ammunition,

Zak remains free from jail after posting a $150 cash bond.

If found guilty of the charges at trial, he could be sentenced up to one year in jail.

Authorities said three fully built rifles, two handguns, ammunition and several gun parts were seized April 16 during a search of his parents' house on the 300 block of Ashwood Court. Zak was taken into custody.

In court Thursday, Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Kyle Doyle asked that Zak turn over any gun parts he may still own after Zak allegedly told employees at Domino's Pizza in Mundelein that he had more gun parts and could put together additional weapons.

"He made statements saying that he could easily go back and make more firearms," Doyle said in court.

Owning the gun parts is not considered illegal, Doyle said in court. But, assembling the parts into a firearm would be against the law and a violation of his bail.

Defense attorney Albert Wysocki initially objected to the request, but later said Zak had already removed all weapon parts from his parents' house. He also agreed to allow a Vernon Hills police detective to come to the house for an inspection.

Scully ordered Zak to stay away from the Mundelein restaurant where he discussed making the guns, and have no contact with any of its employees.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told Vernon Hills police on April 7 they received an anonymous tip that Zak had been seen at the College of Lake County wearing a T-shirt promoting the Patriot Front. It is considered to be a white nationalist group that organizes demonstrations and posts flyers promoting white supremacy and fascism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups across the United States.

After court, Wysocki denied Zak was a Patriot Front member, and said he was unable to comment further on the case.

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