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Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense

It is hard to imagine a guy faking a hate crime attack just so he could get up on stage and call himself “the Gay Tupac,” but that is exactly what Jussie Smollett is accused of doing. Police believe that Smollett paid two African bodybuilders to stage an assault that made national headlines, infuriated activists, and mined the hatred and outrage surrounding recent police murders. However, investigators came to believe that Smollett had staged the attack leading to an investigation that cost the city at least $130,000. Further, he stoked the fires of racial outrage and when it turned out that the police had evidence the hate crime was staged, it made it more difficult for others facing similar assaults to report their crimes.

It is among the most frustrating and infuriating news stories all year. As of the writing of this article, Smollett has been convicted of the charges. Smollett still maintains his innocence. But the matter remains polarizing as several high-profile celebrities continue to support Smollett on the basis that the Chicago police department has a long history of wrongdoing. 

Understanding Double Jeopardy

The Wicked Town street gang is facing a federal RICO prosecution that has ensnared 80 of its members. The Wicked Town gang is reputed to have orchestrated at least 19 killings. In one of these killings, an innocent bystander was gunned down at a pickup basketball game. 

Here’s the problem. The narco traffickers in places like Honduras have control of the government. They are not interested in boosting their reps on the streets. They simply want to move their drugs from one place to another. Meanwhile, they are supplying these drugs to street-level dealers who are more interested in boosting their own reps than they are doing business. These gangs and their leaders will often provoke worthless squabbles with other gangs simply to be harder on the street. While the Cartels kill their fair share of snitches and traitors to their business, the gangs are responsible for creating havoc on the streets for no other reason than to look as mean and strong as they possibly can. 

Famous Smugglers

15 members of the Sin City Deciples and a 16th individual have been charged with federal racketeering and drug conspiracy charges. The Sin City Deciples are a motorcycle gang that hails from Gary, Indiana. They are accused of trafficking stolen property, drugs, violence, extortion, and other crimes related to their outlaw motorcycle club. According to the indictment, the Deciples made money by trafficking in cocaine and heroin while extorting other MCs to pay them dues. Among the allegations are that Deciples showed up armed at a rival MCs club to force the members to wear their Sin City insignia. 

Preparing the Case Against the MC

The indictment has just been handed down, but allegations against the club go back as far as 2009. The club was formed in 1967. The indictment states that the 16 individuals were involved in drug enterprises to distribute cocaine and heroin through networks within Indiana. The prosecution has decades worth of sales to undercover agents and the organization has been infiltrated enough that there is evidence of discussions concerning club business that will be presented by undercover agents. 

Melvin Ely and Will Bynum, both of whom are former NBA players from the Chicago area, are facing fraud charges related to a scheme involving the NBA players’ health care program. The pair will face charges in a federal Manhattan court where the indictment was unsealed. 

The indictment names 19 defendants, 18 of whom are former NBA players. The former players are accused of defrauding the Health and Welfare program of nearly $4 million. The fraud was masterminded by former New Jersey Nets star Terrence Williams. Williams was paid kickbacks of about $250,000 to actuate the fraud, while players stole a reported $2.5 in personal proceeds.

While the story by now has made it to major airwaves, details of the prosecution are as of yet unknown. The defendants are facing charges of aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and wire fraud. 

A joint federal and local probe produced 17 defendants in connection with a drug trafficking ring responsible for putting heroin and cocaine on the streets of Chicago. The defendants will face federal charges and be charged in federal court. According to the press release, the operation remained ongoing for years prior to making these arrests. Federal agents announced the seizure of multiple kilos of cocaine and heroin in several Chicago neighborhoods. The effort had contributions from Chicago P.D. and the Department of Homeland Security. The measure produced 17 defendants who are facing federal charges and two more who are facing state charges. 

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

The OCDEF is a multi-agency effort to attack cartels and gangs that distribute narcotics on the streets. Its efforts targeted international drug trafficking and were led by prosecutors to help build cases against those involved in the drug trade. According to the Justice Department, it is the largest transnational anti-crime task force in the country. The agency has 500 federal prosecutors, 1,200 federal agents, and 5,000 local and state police. 

A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over. 

At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.

A woman described as a “serial stowaway” has been arrested yet again after her ankle monitor malfunctioned. Marilyn Hartmann, who claims she has taken over 30 free flights, will now face charges of criminal trespass after wandering off from her halfway house. She was spotted by TSA and authorities were notified that the woman was in the airport. Hartmann is facing felony charges from a prior attempt to stowaway aboard a plane. Prosecutors will likely file more felony charges against the woman. 

The same woman was the subject of an interview broadcast on television where she told reporters that she began hopping planes in 2002. Hartmann has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but that likely will not help her after repeated attempts to violate the same law.

Will a Mental Health Defense Work?

A Chicago man is being held without bail after police pulled him over driving an SUV suspected in the murder of G Herbo’s friend at a South Loop barbershop. Christopher Mosley, 29, was pulled over carrying a Glock featuring a laser attachment. While the gun was not loaded when police pulled over Mosley, they noted that he was carrying a lot of ammunition. Police did not mention why Mosley was pulled over in the first place. They only said that an SUV matching the description of Mosley’s was seen pulling away from a barbershop shooting. Mosley has not been charged with the murder. However, a judge ruled there was enough reason to order Mosley held without bail.

How Will Police Conduct This Investigation?

First, they will test the gun against the shell casings. The FBI invented an entirely new science for determining whether or not a specific shell casing can be linked to a specific gun. Like most FBI “science” (see profiling and facial recognition), it was just a lot of made-up silliness. According to the FBI, every gun leaves a unique marking on a shell casing. Ideally, every shell shot from the same gun would leave an identical marking. With due deference to science, for the method to work, the markings would need to be identical in every case. They could not be, for instance, substantially similar, pretty close, or within tolerance. They have to be identical. Nonetheless, the FBI was able to bamboozle juries into convicting people based on their made-up science. This made-up science will likely feature prominently in the case against Christopher Mosley.

A Chicago man will face charges related to the Capitol blitz after he posted a photo of a plaque outside of House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi’s office on social media. Kevin Lyons, 40, who lives in the Gladstone Park neighborhood has been charged with misdemeanor counts of knowingly accessing a restricted area, violently entering a restricted area, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds

Lyons was arrested at his Chicago home and appeared before a federal judge who ordered him released on a $10,000 bond. The conditions of his release state that he must not have any contact with anyone involved in the Capitol blitz or anyone planning any violent acts against the federal government. 

Parading Your Crimes on Social Media

Renowned butcher and bookie, Dominic Poeta, will face federal charges over his illegal gambling operation. He is also facing tax evasion charges

Federal agents believe that Poeta was operating a sportsbook out of his butcher shop. Poeta found himself jammed up in 2007 when federal agents attempted to collect on a judgment from Adam Resnick. Resnick, a degenerate gambler, went to prison over a $10 million check-kiting scheme that also saw the demise of Universal Federal Bank. Resnick likely found himself in the hole and owing Poeta money. 

However, federal agents never brought charges against Poeta until last month. Poeta pleaded guilty to a gambling charge and form filing a fraudulent tax return. 

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