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The political landscapes in Chicago and in the Illinois General Assembly have undergone rapid changes in the past few days. State Rep. Luis Arroyo, from Chicago’s West Side, was arrested and charged with bribery by federal prosecutors on Monday of last week. Two days later, Arroyo resigned. Prosecutors claim the former Third District representative tried to bribe a state senator with monthly $2,500 payments in exchange for support for legislation to legalize “sweepstakes” gambling. “This is the jackpot,” Arroyo allegedly said to the senator as he handed over the first check. According to news reports, the state senator was wearing…
We have in the past written about a pair of Chicago police officers who were arrested and charged with stealing drugs and cash. Sergeant Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado were recently found guilty by jurors on all charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and theft. Their case makes it clear again why people who are arrested should not lose hope. Unfortunately, some police officers are themselves corrupt and see a profit in framing people on drug-trafficking charges and other allegations. Prosecutors presented evidence that showed that officers Elizondo and Salgado used bogus information to obtain search warrants and then…
Southwest suburb Oak Lawn placed its city manager on administrative leave days after a hit-and-run crash in which he was apparently the driver. Village Manager Larry Deetjen is accused in a hit-and-run that left a 48-year-old man with critical injuries. The Oak Lawn Village Board placed Deetjen on paid leave pending the outcome of a police investigation in neighboring Chicago Ridge. The victim is from Worth, a village immediately southwest of Chicago Ridge. According to law enforcement officials, witnesses told investigators that the car that struck the victim and then sped off was marked as an official Oak Lawn vehicle.…
Lake Michigan’s waves lap at one of the borders of Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. According to police, one end of an illegal drug pipeline is there in one of the city’s better-known communities and the other end is in Texas. Ten people have been arrested on federal drug charges in “Operation Grapevine,” an investigation of the pipeline, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said. Law enforcement officials said 14 kilos of cocaine and more than a dozen guns were seized in a raid on a Kenwood home. Officers also took possession of about $215,000 in cash and…
After the recent revelations in video obtained from Chicago police officer body cameras, is it any wonder that many city residents doubt the word of cops? According to the recordings, Chicago police officers can be heard breaking through the door of a family’s home and then continuing their search – even though after they realized they had entered the wrong residence. According to a CBS news report, “Chicago Police Officer Joe Cappello had a search warrant to raid a drug offender’s home, but he didn’t make sure he was hitting the right place.” This is just one of many wrong-location…
The shooting victim was a mountain of a man: he stood 6-foot-8 and weighed more than 300 pounds. When he was shot and killed earlier this year outside the Sound Bar nightclub where he worked, news reports said that the imposing bouncer had been well-liked. But someone shot him as a brawl broke out in a crowd of about 15 people on the sidewalk at the corner of Franklin and Ontario. Chicago police say they have arrested and charged a 41-year-old man in the fatal March shooting outside the River North club. The suspect is facing a felony count of
According to Chicago police, a 45-year-old man shot a woman in broad daylight downtown, shot a police officer and was himself shot in a gun battle before being taken into custody. The suspect now faces a long list of felonies that include attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said at a news conference that the suspect had “posed a clear and present danger to the people of Chicago.” The suspect is hospitalized with eight gunshot wounds, a Cook County…
The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently charged two men with felonies in an alleged straw purchase scheme to bring handguns to Chicago to sell. They are both charged with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and unlawfully dealing and importing firearms, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement. So what is a straw purchase? It happens when a person buys a gun for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing guns or when a person buys a gun for someone who doesn’t want their name on gun dealer forms documenting legal gun…
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois is accusing the executive director of a southwest suburban autism center of engaging in fraud. Latrice Harrell runs the Champion Center for Autism and has been charged with filing fraudulent claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for therapeutic services that did not take place. Federal prosecutors allege that “Harrell fraudulently obtained at least $1.6 million” from the insurer. She has been charged in an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago with seven counts of health care fraud, as well as two counts of making false statements in…
Sitting just a few miles southwest of Chicago, suburban Orland Park was recently the site of a trio of drug arrests on some of the most serious charges a person can face in Illinois. According to a news report, three out-of-state men were arrested there and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell/deliver – Class X felonies. As many of our readers know, a Class X felony is the most serious felony Illinois has, apart from a first-degree murder charge. Even a first-time offender convicted of a Class X felony faces a mandatory minimum of…
Though Illinois State Sen. Thomas E. Cullerton lives in suburban Villa Park, he was recently indicted by a federal jury in Chicago. The 49-year-old faces multiple charges of public corruption, including 39 counts of embezzlement from a labor union. He is also charged with conspiracy to embezzle from a labor union and employee benefit plans. Federal prosecutors allege that Cullerton fraudulently received salary and benefits from a union, though he did little or no work for the organization. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr. states in court documents that Cullerton was a member…
Three Chicago men have been charged by federal authorities with violent crimes in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood. The men – ages 37, 26 and 19 – are accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire operation that resulted in two fatal shootings. The men are each charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire, according to John R. Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Other agencies participating in the arrests included the FBI, the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives…
While much media attention is focused on the opioids epidemic, fewer headlines are devoted to the resurgence of methamphetamine. The powerful stimulant has regained the popularity it had back in the 1990s and early 2000s. According to research by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, meth-related drug arrests have increased significantly in our state in the past few years. The ICJIA says two main factors are responsible for the resurgence of meth use in Illinois: efforts to combat opioid abuse have reduced easy access to the drugs and meth has at the same time become cheaper and purer. The ICJIA…
Backed by dance-music rhythms, the raucous parties on a Chicago real estate agent’s 58-foot powerboat called Flying Lady stood out from the other floating festivities off of the downtown shore. In a recent article, the Tribune speculates that the parties might be over, however, after 44-year-old David Izsak’s arrest for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Federal officials seized the Flying Lady, seeking forfeiture of the Carver 570 Voyager yacht. In the indictment, they alleged that Izsak fraudulently obtained $360,000 in financing for its purchase back in 2011. The Tribune reports that Izsak faces up to 30 years in…
A divided Illinois appellate court recently stated that a decision striking down a controversial law enforcement practice used only in Cook County will not have dire consequences for the one department affected. “Our decision merely puts the Chicago police officers on equal footing with their colleagues in other departments throughout the State of Illinois.” The court struck down a Chicago police practice known as an “investigative alert.” It enabled supervisors to order police to arrest suspects they encountered without search warrants or observing them committing a crime. The appeals court wrote that the investigative alerts enabled cops to get…
Chicago’s history is inextricably linked with the history of the railroad. More lines of track radiate from Chicago than from any other city. Our hometown is the interchange point for freight traffic and the hub of Amtrak. When allegations of wrongdoing in the Chicago railroad industry surface, they are taken seriously by city, state and federal officials. A suburban software engineer for a locomotive manufacturer was recently charged by federal prosecutors of stealing trade secrets and sharing them with the company in China where he now works. Fifty-seven-year-old Xudong “William” Yao was charged with nine counts of trade secret theft,…