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Truck drivers trying to navigate Chicago’s streets safely have to watch carefully to avoid cars and pedestrians, but also have to be aware of the overpasses as well. When the driver of a Freightliner box truck clipped a McKinley Park overpass earlier this year, he was “feeling bad because I had gotten into a major accident and I didn’t know what to do.” Seemingly out of nowhere, a helpful tow truck driver appeared and lent a hand, hauling the damaged Freightliner to the towing company’s storage lot. However, the tow truck guy might not have been as helpful as he…
Charges against two Chicago men are serious, though law enforcement officials say the allegations could become much more serious. One of the men has been charged with felony drug offenses, including the manufacture or of heroin and possession of a controlled substance, according to Cook County court records. But police officials said the men might be connected to a series of overdoses caused by a batch of fentanyl-laced heroin that left four people dead on Chicago’s West Side. Law enforcement officials said the powerful heroin had caused at least 17 overdoses in the past two weeks and that the…
The daring escape attempt looked like something out of the movies. Chicago police said a 22-year-old man recently jumped from a sixth story window in an attempt to evade arrest. The escape attempt failed, however, after the man landed on the concrete sidewalk outside of his South Side apartment, breaking bones and suffering serious internal injuries. According to a report in the Sun-Times, the suspect was taken first to a hospital and later charged in federal court with murder in aid of racketeering and illegal possession of a 9mm handgun. The newspaper article says the suspect was wearing an electronic…
Chicago’s NBC affiliate WMAQ recently reported on a former pharmaceutical industry executive who is part of the unfolding opioid scandal. The now-retired CEO of the Rochester Drug Co-Operative was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of conspiracy related to drug trafficking. Federal prosecutors allege that 75-year-old Laurence Doud III urged his salespeople to sign new customers without asking questions. That no-questions approach extended to his firm’s largest customer, which went from ordering 70,000 monthly units of Oxycodone to nearly three times that just a year later. Doud apparently overruled his company’s compliance officers so that…
We have written in this space about people in the Chicago area who faced federal drug trafficking charges. Those allegations typically revolve around illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. It is rare to see drug-related charges against a businessman who sold legal drugs from a pharmacy. But that was the case with Paul J. Elmer, the former owner and CEO of Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals. He was recently convicted by a jury of distributing “over- and under-potent drugs to military and civilian hospitals” in Chicago, Indiana and elsewhere, the Department of Justice stated. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud
A significant change is coming to Illinois criminal justice on June 1. That’s when most young adults who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms will start to become eligible for a parole review after they have spent 10 years behind bars. Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed the measure that will soon take effect. “This historic legislation will create a long-awaited and vital new parole system for youth facing long sentences,” he said at a bill-signing event in Chicago’s West Side Lawndale neighborhood. The new law will enable people who committed a crime before they turned 21 to petition the state’s…
There is no doubt that some of our Chicago readers attended Western Illinois University in Macomb. While the town is usually sleepy (except for student parties, of course), it woke up recently to news of arrests on drug-trafficking and firearms charges. Law enforcement officials said that after a month-long investigation, officers and a SWAT team executed a search warrant at a residence while the Illinois National Guard provided a helicopter to assist with the raid. A police spokesperson said the helicopter was used to surveil the home and protect the participating officers. Inside the house, two people were arrested.…
There are a number of different types of fraud that interest Chicago, Illinois and federal investigators, including schemes involving mortgages, health care, taxes, embezzlement and more. We read recently of allegations that three people far south of us participated in an insurance fraud involving motor vehicle identification numbers (VIN). The three suspects have been charged with insurance fraud, as well as theft by deception and falsification of identification numbers. A VIN is a unique code used by the auto industry to identify vehicles; VINs are also used by law enforcement, insurance companies, car dealers, towing companies and other to…
Chicago’s news outlets have featured headlines over the past few days about the college admissions scandal. Fifty people have been indicted, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. A pair of Chicago schools have connections to the scandal: the son of William Singer, the CEO of the college admissions prep company at the epicenter of the scandal, has a son who graduated from DePaul two years ago. The elder Singer donated at least $150,000 to the school while his son attended classes at the Lincoln Park campus.…
According to federal prosecutors, heroin in Chicago was just a phone call away. Potential buyers simply had to call a number and their drug of choice would arrive at a predetermined location (usually in the West Garfield Park neighborhood), ready to be purchased. Prosecutors recently unsealed criminal complaints in U.S. District Court in Chicago against 22 defendants for federal drug trafficking offenses involving heroin and fentanyl. An additional 13 people have been charged in Cook County Criminal Court with Illinois state complaints. The investigation called “Operation Road Rage” also resulted in the seizure of a kilo of heroin (much of…
Former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie Hicks took off 15 years ago rather than face trial. But the manhunt that went from Cook County to Texas to Brazil came to an end a few months ago in Detroit. Now the former officer faces federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, drug-trafficking conspiracy, theft of government funds and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. Law enforcement officials believe Hicks ran a renegade group of cops who robbed drug dealers and then re-sold the stolen goods. Hicks will also face a charge of failing to appear in court, officials said.…
Just outside of Chicago’s northwest city limits sits the village of Rosemont. Known mainly for its convention center and venues for sports and concerts, it doesn’t typically generate a lot of headlines. A recent arrest there garnered some media attention, however. The 21-year-old Chicago resident now faces eight charges, including possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing or delivering cannabis. He also faces two weapons-related charges, law enforcement officials said. The arrest had its genesis in a car accident on River Road. The 21-year-old allegedly sideswiped another vehicle and he and the other driver were in a heated exchange…
Many of our readers will recall a Chicago police scandal from last year that resulted in a number of people having their convictions overturned. The story is getting national attention because the courts are once again exonerating those who were convicted in drug cases based on arrests made by the crooked Chicago police sergeant and an officer on his team. Last week, 14 men had their convictions tossed. When added to previous exonerations, 63 people have had their convictions vacated because they involved the criminal actions of Sgt. Ronald Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed. The New York Times reported that…
After the list of guilty verdicts had been read, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman turned to his wife and the couple exchanged thumbs-ups. Despite the momentary bravado, the guilty verdicts could mean life behind bars for the legendary Mexican drug cartel figure after a jury found him guilty of involvement in not only billion-dollar drug trafficking, but murders, bribery and more. Attention now turns to two men in Chicago and their impending court cases. They are accused of being Guzman’s top associates in the Sinaloa drug cartel. One of the men is Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada Niebla, who testified against Guzman…
According to the Chicago Tribune, a new proposal by an Illinois lawmaker has kicked off the latest round of debate on marijuana legalization here. Rep. Carol Ammons has filed a bill to legalize recreational weed use and would also allow licensed businesses to grow and sell cannabis. It would also enable state residents to grow up to two dozen plants at home. The bill would also allow businesses to create weed consumption areas in which their customers could imbibe. Rep. Ammons’s measure would also mandate a 10 percent tax on weed-related net income. Those funds would then to local…
It is an understatement, at the very least, to say Chicago has has a colorful political history. Another chapter was added recently when law enforcement officials said they are opening an investigation into whether Alderman Joe Moreno filed a false report about a stolen car. According to a local newscast, the alderman’s girlfriend was arrested after Moreno reported the vehicle stolen. Moreno has also come under recent scrutiny in an FBI investigation of public corruption. CBS News reported that the 1st Ward alderman had told the woman that she could use his car. When a reporter spoke with her,…