CHICAGO — Cook County prosecutors this week dropped charges against a man who was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in a South Loop barbershop last year — a murder that local and federal officials say was part of a deadly South Side gang conflict fueled by three U.S. Army soldiers who illegally bought and shipped a host of guns to Chicago.

Christopher Mosley, 30, was arrested Feb. 2, 2021, after he was seen in a vehicle that was linked to the Jan. 28 shooting death of Gregory Jackson III inside a barbershop at 19th and State streets, police said at the time. Mosley was not charged with murder, but three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, being an armed habitual criminal and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

According to Mosley’s arrest report, police found him with a gun that was illegally bought and shipped to Chicago by soldiers at the Ft. Campbell Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

Christopher Mosley | Chicago police photo

Court records show all charges against Mosley were dropped on June 27 after a Cook County judge granted a motion by Mosley’s attorney to quash his arrest.

In an emailed statement, a representative for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said: “After the court’s ruling on 6/27/22 which impacted the totality of the evidence, we concluded that we could no longer meet our burden of proof to move forward with the prosecution of this case. The court granted our motion to dismiss this case and the charges against the offender were dropped.”

Mosley’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Sources say the murder of Jackson — a rapper who performed under the stage name “Lil Greg” — was part of an ongoing conflict between two South Side gang factions: the No Limit Black P. Stones and the Pocket Town Gangster Disciples, which claim territory in the Greater Grand Crossing and South Shore neighborhoods.

Jackson was a member of No Limit and a close associate of G Herbo, one of Chicago’s most popular contemporary hip hop artists who’s also claimed loyalty to No Limit. G Herbo — born Herbert Wright — is currently faces federal charges in Massachusetts, where he’s accused of making false statements to a federal agent, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Those cases are pending.

In March 2021, just weeks after Jackson’s murder, a mass shooting at a party on West 79th Street left a man dead and seven other people wounded. The gathering was to celebrate the birthday of Kevin “Kevo” Forbes, a member of Pocket Town who was shot and killed six months earlier, according to police sources.

No charges have been brought in that shooting, but CPD investigators recovered several guns at the crime scene. Federal authorities said five of those guns were purchased in Kentucky and Tennessee before they were illegally sent to Chicago.

Two months after the mass shooting, federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged three U.S. Army soldiers — Brandon Miller, Jarius Brunson and Demarus Adams — with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident, making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, engaging in the business without a firearms license, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Federal authorities allege the three sent more than 90 guns to Chicago between December 2020 and April 2021.

Top image: An excerpt from Christopher Mosley’s Feb. 2, 2021 arrest report detailing the serial number on the gun he was allegedly in possession of. Lower image: An excerpt from the indictment handed up against Brandon Miller and two other U.S. Army soldiers. According to federal prosecutors, Miller purchased the gun that was later found on Mosley.

A search of cellphones belonging to the soldiers allegedly revealed text messages that show the three discussed the prices of firearms, how many were to be purchased and from where.

In February 2021, Miller was discussing gun prices with someone with a Chicago phone number, prosecutors allege. In one text conversation, Miller asked the person if they wanted accessories and ammunition along with guns.

“I want to talk to u about the price n wat was it again,” the person from Chicago texted to Miller.

“Iight and wassup big dawg you said 3 .40s 3 9s and a Ar Pistol I said around 6700-6800,” Miller said. “You want sticks and eggs and everything to or u just want pipes I gotta drive 7 hrs gas and ona road taking the risk if not I’ll jus bring the pipes only no rounds or sticks the store go up and down.”

Two months later, prosecutors said Miller was texting with another phone number based in Chicago.

“We gotta hold this s— together ima still play the back role g I ain’t never turning my back on gang whatever got going on y’all ina door wit me stand on business ima stand on my business to make sure mfs got what they need,” Miller said.

In April 2022, federal prosecutors in Tennessee expanded the case and brought conspiracy charges against nine purported members of the Pocket Town Gangster Disciples. The case remains pending.