Blog Authors

Latest from Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Charges Brought Against Illinois Resident for Dissemination and Possession of Child Pornography by AG’s Office
Earlier this week, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office under Kwame Raoul announced several charges against a Brighton man, David Crane, in the Macoupin County Circuit Court after officers conducted a search of Crane’s residence that turned up evidence of child pornography. The Attorney General Office runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (“ICAC”) Task Force which investigates possible child exploitation crimes through reports of possible child pornography through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”), a nonprofit established by Congress. Crane’s arrest, who
Continue Reading Illinois’ Attorney General Focuses on Child Pornography Enforcement

US Supreme Court Rules Devices Used on Semi-Automatic Guns are Legal
In an update to our previous coverage over the United States Supreme Court’s handling of federal gun laws, the Court recently struck down a Trump-era federal ban on “bump stocks.” Bump stocks are accessories which convert semi-automatic weapons to ones capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute, similar to an automatic weapon. The ban was enacted in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (“ATF”), acted under the authority of the National Firearms Act of 1934
Continue Reading Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Ban on Gun Bump Stocks

Virginia Court Rules Police Use of the Technology Unconstitutional
A Virginia Court recently ruled that a local police department’s use of automatic license plate readers was a Fourth Amendment violation against unreasonable search and seizures and as a result suppressed all evidence derived from its use in a particular case. The city of Norfolk recently installed a “FLOCK system” of 172 automatic plate reader cameras around the city that tracks the various locations of vehicles, and that information was then stored for up to 30 days in a system that was readily accessible to any police officers in the city’s
Continue Reading Automated Police Surveillance Systems Come Under Scrutiny

Misconduct Investigations of Chicago Police Officers to be Made Public
About two weeks ago the Chicago Police Department announced a forthcoming new policy that will make all misconduct investigations into individual officers public for the first time. This is  a radical shift from the traditional policy that often left the public in the dark about complaints against officers. The department will work with the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability to develop a system that will allow for records held by the Bureau of Internal Affairs (“BIA”) to be made available to the public. “This is a huge step
Continue Reading Chicago Police Department Further Increases Transparency of Misconduct to the Public

Brokers Blamed for Rampant PPP Loan Fraud but So Far Have Largely Evaded Punishment
In an update to our previous coverage of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Frauds, further investigations into allegations of fraud/abuse in connection with COVID-19 relief program related scams have revealed a troubling trend that many of those responsible for obtaining the loans apparently continue to avoid punishment. That is because many of those responsible for filling out the paperwork and causing loans to be distributed to individuals did not receive the money themselves but instead received a brokerage fee or “kick-back” from the individual whose name
Continue Reading Further Investigations of PPP Loan Fraud

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Provide Off-Ramp for Those Subject to Supervised Release
Recently a bill was introduced, the Safer Supervision Act, in both the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D–Del.) and John Cornyn (T–Texas) and in the House by Reps. Wesley Hunt (R–Texas) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Texas) that would make it easier for certain individuals to be released from federal supervised release after their release from the Bureau of Prisons, often for multiple years. Currently, a vast majority of those sentenced at the federal level include some period of supervised release, 82% in the fiscal year 2022 according
Continue Reading Bill Introduced to US Congress That Would Alter Federal Supervised Release

Legislation Seeking to Regulate Delta-8 THC Stalls in Illinois House of Representatives
A recent bill proposed to regulate the sellers of delta-8 THC, CBD and other hemp-derived products more stringently failed to pass earlier this week after the bill, which passed the Illinois State Senate 54-1 over the weekend, did not receive a vote in the House of Representatives before the legislative session came to a close. Seeking to restrict the sale of these products to only businesses that have undergone the stringent cannabis dispensary licensing process, the bill would have cut out many current sellers such as gas stations
Continue Reading Increasing Calls for Regulation of Popular Delta-8 THC

New Task Force Announced to Focus on Healthcare
The Department of Justice recently unveiled a new task force aiming to root out monopolies and collusion in the healthcare market, including shaping policy decisions, conducting investigations, and, when warranted, bringing civil and criminal enforcement actions. The task force will “identify and root out monopolies and collusive practices that increase costs, decrease quality and create single points of failure in the healthcare industry” Assistance Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said in a statement. In an interview, Kanter went on to say, “Today’s announcement essentially explains that we are upping our game and we
Continue Reading Justice Department to Focus on Antitrust Enforcement

Proposed Legislation Would Make It a Felony to Run from Police
Under the current law in Illinois, anyone who flees from the police after an attempted traffic stop can only be charged with a misdemeanor for fleeing in their vehicle unless they meet certain aggravating criteria. For example, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer (which is a felony) requires traveling over 21 miles per hour over the speed limit, bodily injury, disobeying two or more traffic control devices, or concealing or altering the vehicle’s registration or digital registration plate.  However, a bill recently introduced in the Illinois
Continue Reading Potential New Felony Traffic Laws Proposed in Illinois General Assembly

Arizona Woman Arrested for Assisting North Korea Infiltrate Major US Companies
The Justice Department recently unsealed an indictment against a U.S. citizen and three North Koreans using aliases that engaged in a complex fraud to secure remote employment as software and application developers in a wide range of industries, generating almost $7 million that was then funneled back to North Korea. The U.S. citizen, Christina Chapman, was arrested in her hometown in Arizona and is accused of receiving and hosting laptop computers sent by the various employers to make it appears as though the North Korean IT workers were located
Continue Reading Recent Arrests by DOJ Highlight Growing Trend in Cybercrime Prosecutions

States Seek to Block Closing of So-Called “Gun Show Loophole”
As we’ve discussed in an earlier blog, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) previously sought to close the “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks and/or a license to sell any firearms, and the new rule was set to take effect on May 20, 2024. However, the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah recently filed a lawsuit challenging the new rule, arguing that the rule oversteps the agency’s authority and violates the Second Amendment. “The notion that one must obtain a license in order to
Continue Reading Several States Sue Federal Government Over New Gun Regulation

Illinois State Senator Introduces Legislation to Legalize Psilocybin
Earlier this year, Illinois State Senator Rachel Ventura introduced a bill that would legalize psilocybin, often referred to as “magic mushrooms” for adults over the age of 21 in a supervised facility, so long as they meet certain requirements. The bill is modeled after similar laws in Oregon and Colorado, the only two states that have legalized and decriminalized psilocybin at the state level. Much of the emphasize behind the push for legalization concerns its potential use to help those with various mental health issues. “If this is going to help people,
Continue Reading Could Illinois Become Newest State to Legalize “Magic Mushrooms”?

DEA Signals Intent to Reclassify Marijuana as a Less Dangerous Drug
In an update to a previous blog, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it will proceed with the plan to reclassify Marijuana from a “Schedule I” Controlled Substance to the less tightly regulated “Schedule III” group. The proposed shift still needs to be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget and is subject to a period of public comment, but afterwards the agency will be able to publish the rule. Considering that a recent Gallup poll found that 70% of adults in the US support
Continue Reading Federal Marijuana Reclassification One Step Closer to Reality

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Over Government’s Ability to Regulate Ghost Guns
This past week the United States Supreme Court agreed to review a lower court’s ruling concerning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm (commonly referred to as the A.T.F.) in the Biden Administration’s ability to regulate manufacturers and sellers of materials that can be made into “ghost guns.” “Ghost guns” are unserialized, privately made firearms often sold as parts to be assembled at home, allowing purchasers to circumvent certain federal firearm regulations. Ghost guns cannot be traced by conventional means and some can even be created on
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court to Weigh Ghost Gun Regulation

Unanimous Ruling Finds That Prosecutors Have Flexibility on Forfeiture Orders
The United States Supreme Court recently held that federal courts can issue criminal forfeiture orders outside the prescribed deadline set by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, resolving a circuit split on the issue. Although the Rules require that the courts enter forfeiture orders before sentencing to allow the defendant to submit revisions or modifications, the recent Court’s ruling effectively states that this rule is not absolute and allows flexibility by the government to bring forfeiture orders at a later date. In the case before the Court, Louis McIntosh was
Continue Reading Supreme Court Refuses to Set Hard Deadline in Criminal Forfeitures

Video Evidence Exonerated Retired NFL Superstar
Michael Irvin, the Hall of Fame wide receiver turned NFL Network analyst, was abruptly taken off the Super Bowl coverage for the network in 2023 after it was alleged that he sexually assaulted a hotel worker at an Arizona Marriot in the days leading up to the championship game. However, he denied the allegations and sued the hotel chain and several workers for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages, after security video footage showed that the allegations were unfounded. The video, which Marriot attempted to prevent from being released, shows Irvin returning to the
Continue Reading Michael Irvin Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Marriot Over False Sexual Assault Report