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Articles Posted in Criminal defense

26 Westside residents are facing federal charges related to the operation of a drug hotline. The FBI says that they made numerous purchases of crack-cocaine and fentanyl-laced heroin. The operation began in the summer.

Federal authorities issued a statement that said that they will continue to vigorously prosecute anyone who distributes fentanyl-laced drugs on the streets. Over the summer and early fall, 13 were arrested on drug and weapons charges related to the operation. Another 13 now face charges related to conspiracy, trafficking, and other charges. The complaint names Dexstin Bryant, a 31-year-old from Chicago, as the ringleader. Bryant allegedly distributed 124 grams of fentanyl-mixed heroin and 38 grams of cocaine. 

The Convenience of Delivery

Crystal Lundberg told a federal judge that getting charged with wire fraud had changed her life for the better. She said that she found legitimate employment and was growing as a person. But federal authorities have charged Lundberg in another scheme to defraud. This time, the victim was the federal government that disbursed $150,000 in loans to Lundberg’s business to keep her payroll going. 

Federal prosecutors now say Lundberg took the loans that were earmarked for COVID relief and spent the money on vacations, legal bills, and other personal expenditures while simultaneously delaying her surrender date to the Bureau of Prisons.

Other problems for Lundberg include Facebook posts she made indicating that her plan was to spend the federal relief money until the feds came and arrested her. Obviously, federal authorities believe that Lundberg wanted one last hurrah before serving her prison sentence. 

Akeem Kosoko and his brother, who worked as a mailman, had been stealing money from the mail for months before the Trump administration announced it would be sending $1,200 checks to every American. Kosoko, who called the stimulus funds “Trump checks,” knew that this would be a great time to cash in. The federal government, however, caught up with them when they tried to sell several Trump checks for a reported $5,000. Now, the brothers are facing charges of conspiring to steal U.S. mail and stealing government funds.

Kosoko was believed to be among several post office employees who would steal tax refunds, social security checks, and more from the U.S. postal system. The checks would then be exchanged for cash to those who had the ability to anonymously cash them. 

The Anatomy of a Fraud

A Chicago man is facing three Class-X felonies after police found between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine and a stolen weapon. 48-year-old Kevin L. Dobbins will face this list of charges:

  • Armed violence
  • Being a habitual criminal in possession of a weapon

You have heard of Bonnie and Clyde? Micky and Mallory Knox? Thelma and Louise? Well, get ready for Violet Greco and Glenesha Currie, the interracial lesbian couple who knocked over five Chicago banks before leading authorities on a high-speed chase into Indiana. What they did not realize was that the FBI had bugged their getaway vehicle. 

When the pair attempted to rob the PNC Bank, authorities were on them in a hurry. The couple fled, leading authorities on a 100mph chase that ended in Indiana after their car ran out of gas. 

Federal Charges Filed Against the Defendants

Two sisters stabbed a security guard 27 times after being asked to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer. The older sister, 21-year-old Jessica Hill, stabbed the 6’5”, 270-pound security guard, while her younger sister, 18-year-old Jayla Hill, held him by his hair. In denying bail, the judge noted that “the complete randomness of the attack” was terrifying. 

What Happened?

This whole thing is a little weird, so let’s see if we can unpack it. 

It was the kind of thing that you would see dramatized on television or in a movie. Only it was not dramatic irony, it was one of the most infamous criminal prosecutions in Chicago history. The defendants included notable left-wing celebrities such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panthers Party. He and the other defendants were accused of inciting riots during the Democratic National Convention. As soon as the case began, it started heading off the rails in a hurry.

Threatening Letters to Jurors

Hoffman is notable because he was a famous left-wing activist who was known for the civil rights movement and for writing a book called Steal This Book which was heavily anti-capitalist. 

The son-in-law of Joseph Barrios has pled not guilty to federal bribery charges in October. 41-year-old James Weiss is accused of bribing a state representative and senator for legislation that would benefit gaming and gambling operations in Cook County. 

Weiss will face eight counts of bribery, fraud, mail fraud, and lying to the FBI. The indictment also added charges to Luis Arroyo’s case which initially involved defrauding a federal program. Arroyo will face expanded charges of wire and mail fraud. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sweepstakes Machines or Gray Machines

After nearly a decade of insisting that Michael LaPorta shot himself with a police officer’s service revolver, they are now asking for the man’s help bringing the police officer to justice. LaPorta, who can no longer walk, read, or care for himself, is cared for by his mother. Nonetheless, the city is hoping to subpoena his testimony for the upcoming disciplinary hearing that may allow them to remove the officer from the force. 

LaPorta’s mother reported being “floored” by the request. After decades of insisting LaPorta had fired the shot that changed his life into his own head, they are seeking to compel LaPorta to provide testimony. The quality of that testimony and its necessity for this disciplinary hearing is unclear. 

The History

The latest in police violence occurred just outside of Chicago when a white officer shot a Black security guard outside of a bar. Prosecutors announced that there would be no charges filed against officer Ian Covey. The Cook County state attorney’s office said that the “totality of evidence” was “not enough” to press criminal charges against the officer. 

In apparent anticipation of the potential backlash, State Attorney Kim Foxx told the press that they had interviewed over 100 witnesses and this evidence was examined by her office and the public integrity task force that helps take down bad cops. 

What Happened?

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