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Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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

Purdue Pharmaceuticals will plead guilty to three federal charges as part of an $8 billion settlement related to the production of OxyContin. Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies have been accused of lying to doctors about the addictiveness of their medication and funding pill farms by allowing small rural communities to purchase major quantities of the opioid that far surpassed their population. Other charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States and arranging kickbacks for doctors and clinics.

The judgment is expected to put Purdue Pharma into bankruptcy where their assets will be handled by a bankruptcy judge and a trustee. While the deal punishes the company itself, individual executives have not been absolved of wrongdoing. They can still face charges related to their individual roles in causing what has been dubbed “the opioid epidemic.” 

Half a Million Deaths Since 2000

The feds arrested the alleged leader of the Black Disciples gang, Darnell “Murder” McMiller. The Black Disciples are believed to be involved in gun and drug trafficking and are one of the major players on Chicago’s south side. 

These arrests come amid Trump initiatives to send federal officers into major cities, all democratic strongholds. Trump and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who initially opposed the move, came to an agreement. Trump appears to be interested in helping these democratic cities fight violent crime. However, his tactics have garnered nationwide condemnation in Portland, where allegedly plainclothes DHS officers grabbed people off the streets and took them to federal facilities without filing charges. 

Most of the Portland mission seemed geared toward protecting the federal courthouse that had been vandalized by protesters over the course of several nights. This, however, appears geared toward reducing some of the violence in the most troubled parts of Chicago.

Felipe “The Engineer” Cabrera Sarabia has been extradited to the United States where he will face federal charges in a Chicago courtroom. Sarabia is a top aide for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the former Sinaloa cartel boss.

Sarabia is now 50 years old and is believed to have overseen marijuana operations in Mexico prior to his arrest in 2011. Sarabia pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges. If he is convicted, he could face life in prison.

The Charges

david-von-diemar-745969-unsplash-copy-200x300The City of Waukegan is fighting an order handed down by the Attorney General to release body cam footage after a 31-year-old man died in police custody. The request was made by a private citizen under the Freedom of Information Act. The Attorney General issued a statement saying that the city’s refusal to disclose the footage violated the requirements of the FOIA. The city is arguing that it does not have to release the video because the investigation is ongoing. In other words, they are saying that since the mysterious death is still under investigation, they should be absolved from having to release potentially damning footage related to the incident. The death occurred in the summer of 2018.

The body cam footage was taken in June of 2018 after 31-year-old Avion Cotton was taken into custody after he fled on foot in an apparent attempt to escape police. Waukegan police said in a statement that Cotton had eaten an unknown white substance during the chase and became physically distressed while in custody.

The Background

haley-lawrence-1194174-unsplash-copy-300x200Criminal indictments of major executives at pharmaceutical companies have made headlines across the county as local governments point fingers over the opioid crisis. Now, the federal government is getting involved, as well. At least six companies are the target of a federal probe into whether or not these companies violated the law

Activists have been calling for the sanction of opioid distributors for their role in the opioid crisis. Among the major accusations such companies are facing is the question of whether or not they lied to doctors concerning the addictive properties of their medications. There is some indication that they may have sold their drugs as “less addictive” than older opioid-based medications.

Additionally, opioid companies are accused of oversupplying certain rural communities with enough pills to kill everyone in the county. These pills often made their way into pill mills and were sold on the streets to willing buyers. 

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200As Illinois moves to become the latest state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, many individuals who have criminal records for possession are about to see those records expunged. Under the new law, possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana at a time is authorized by law. Possessing greater quantities, however, is still considered criminal under Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Law enforcement will use an algorithm to go through all the criminal records in Chicago and expunge any record of possession of marijuana that was at or below 30 grams. Those who have been caught with 500 grams or less can also have their records expunged, but they are required to petition the court to do so. 500 grams is over a pound, so this would be considered trafficking territory. 

If you have a conviction for under 30 grams, then you do not have to do anything at all. The court will take care of it automatically and issue you a notice that your record has been expunged. Anything over 30 grams will require you to petition the court for an expungement

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240A man from the northwest suburbs was recently charged with the illegal possession of guns and drugs. A judge denied bail for the 33-year-old for the crime. In a statement released by the Cook County Sheriff’s office, the Melrose Park resident has been charged with two counts for each of the following:

  • Unlawful use of a weapon by a felon
  • Drug possession and

get-budding-72791-copy-300x200Though the number of drug arrests in Chicago is down, drug crimes in Chicago are still a serious problem. The fight against drug possession charges is a difficult one if police find enough evidence to support their claim. But an additional charge of intent to distribute is typically attached when the individual charged has a sizable amount of a single drug or multiple drugs. The amount is what warrants the impression that the drugs are meant to be sold.

With the addition of intent to distribute, the initial charge is amplified with more severe penalties that are life changing. With the right legal representation, it is possible to defend yourself against the charges.

If charges of drug possession and intent to distribute are leveled against you, it is essential you hire legal counsel immediately. Whether you are facing drug charges that involve marijuana, prescription drugs or cocaine, a drug crime defense lawyer in Chicago will work with you to achieve the best outcome for your situation by pursuing possible defenses such as:

amritanshu-sikdar-253730-unsplash-copy-300x200Drug charges are some of the most common criminal charges issued in the Chicago area. Even if you are no stranger to drug charges, you will want to know the different defenses you can use to fight the charges levied against you. It does not take much to fight a drug charge in Chicago, but you should always protect your rights with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your freedom is something you should never take for granted by nonchalantly accepting whatever charges were filed against you. Let us take a look at the most common defenses to drug charges in today’s post.

Someone Else’s Drugs

One of the most common defenses to a drug charge when caught in possession of drugs is that the drugs belonged to someone else. So many people use this defense as soon as the police officer initiates the contact. They carry this defense with them to their criminal defense attorney’s office and then in front of a judge if the case gets that far. This will require quite a bit of evidence to prove.

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