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Articles Tagged with Chicago drug crimes attorney

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. 

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:

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200In June of 2018, Chicago police discovered over 1,500 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop. The street value of the drugs is just over $10 million. The use of a drug dog from the narcotics unit helped police make this discovery.

The vehicle was stopped for suspicion of trafficking narcotics, which is why the drug dog was on hand. The drugs were en route to Chicago from California. The driver was charged with possession of over 5,000 grams of cannabis. Now, many people are raising issue with the legitimacy of the traffic stop.

The Issue

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200Drug crimes are one of the most prevalent crimes committed in Chicagoland and across the world. You should be informed of the laws that dictate the ones in your own hometown. More often than not, the line between a misdemeanor charge and a felony is very thin. When it comes to drugs, even if you have access to Illinois drug statutes, it can all be confusing. There are cases in which the lines are quite blurred and you may not be sure of what consequences you will be facing in your near future.

Possession

Within the plentiful variety of possession charges one can face, it is obviously highly dependent on what substance it is that has been found. Whether or not if you are a first or repeat offender is also a major factor in the eyes of the court.

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200Although drug crimes have the potential to either be a felony or a misdemeanor, it is when you are charged with a felony that you will most want to present some sort of defense for yourself. As you may know, your trial must begin within 120-160 days of your arrest, which may be giving you a false sense of time. This is due to the fact that you must file your challenge against your conviction within 30 days or else you might miss the opportunity to seize your right to appeal completely.

Drug Offenses

According to research, the following is a list of the top three felony drug offenses in Illinois:

maique-madeira-256088-copy-300x200Although most ordinary people talk about “drug crime” as if it were one giant part of criminal law, there are many important distinctions between different drug-related crimes. One of them is the difference between drug dealing and drug trafficking. Let us take the case of David Price, who faced life imprisonment after being found guilty of running an illicit drug empire.

Drug dealing often happens on the streets when middlemen and low-level distributors try to offload the controlled drugs onto the street. They are the people who sell on a one-to-one basis or who provide small shopping facilities for drugs. This is a different crime from trafficking, which often includes international routes. The failure to make these distinctions clear has meant that many people are serving sentences that are longer than they would ordinarily be if the right procedure was followed.

Why is the Distinction Between Dealing and Trafficking so Important?

dan-gold-240112-copy-169x300The use of dogs for gathering police evidence has been debated at the highest levels of the criminal justice system. The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered the matter and made a ruling that could potentially have far-reaching consequences.

The key issue was the extent to which the law enforcement agencies should be able to rely on K-9 partners when making a decision as to whether to search a person or not. There are vehicle sniff directives for law enforcement agencies in place even without this trial.

In the case of Lex, the dog was not considered to be adequately trained or talented enough to be able to make a decision either way. The case was brought by Larry Bentley Jr. He had been sentenced to 20 years in jail for being found in possession of controlled substances.

BRMHS_classroom_wall_2Questioning the Rationale and Practicality of the Current Legal Regime

The first principle of the law in the USA is equality. That may not quite square up to the enhanced sentencing regime for designated drug free zones in Chicago. The current trends owe their origins partly to the 1980s when the super-predator ethos started to take hold in the echelons of legislative assemblies. It was fashionable to be tough on crime. As a result many people are now serving ridiculously long sentences for relatively minor drug offenses. President Barack Obama has used his discretion in pardoning some of these offenders. A less shocking but equally serious manifestation of this fear of crime is called enhanced sentencing. The regime was designed to tackle those areas that were at a very high risk of becoming drug dens. In effect, people who committed drug offenses within these localities would eventually face penalties that were stiffer than those who committed crimes in the non-designated areas.

The principles of natural justice do not quite square up to these situational aggravating features given that an offender has limited control over the geography of the USA or how the authorities decide to designate drug free zones. Supporters of the regime argue that it makes sense when you consider the actual zones that are affected. These include schools and drug recovery institutions. The rationale is that the hardened criminals should not be allowed to exploit vulnerable people without serious consequences. In any case, the same principle has been used to develop aggravating features for burglary. The offender may not know that the home is occupied when he or she decides to steal from it, but the fact that it is occupied will lead to a harsher sentence. Illinois is one of the areas that has fully embraced the school zoning criteria for enhanced sentencing.

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