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Chicago Criminal Defense Blog

Elements of a possession with intent to distribute charge

For some Illinois residents, understanding what a federal possession with intent to distribute charge can entail can be difficult. There are three parts, and they include possession, intention and distribution.

When it comes to possession, individuals cannot legally be in possession of certaincontrolled substances under federal law. While individuals can be charged for simply having drugs in their hands, pockets or bags, they can also be charged if they have control over the drugs. This means that they could be charged if drugs are found in their vehicle or home. The intent part of the charge means that individuals had an intention to do something in particular with the drugs. In order for these charges to stick, the authorities must be able to prove that element.

The elements of a tampering with evidence case

Illinois residents can be charged with tampering with evidence if the authorities believe that the accused individuals attempted to conceal, alter, falsify or destroy the evidence. This evidence can include any object or documentation that could potentially be useful to a police investigation or inquiry.

When individuals are accused of tampering with evidence, the prosecution is required to establish all of the elements of the offense. In this case, the prosecution must establish that an accused person intended to falsify, conceal or destroy the evidence with the purpose of interfering with the investigation. Further, the person must be fully aware that concealing, destroying or falsifying the evidence could result in a specific outcome. In this case, that outcome would be to have an impact on the investigation.

3 actions that could raise suspicions of fraud

When you work as part of a company, you may appreciate that your actions help keep the business running as a whole. Though you could sometimes feel as if your actions go underappreciated or that your contributions may seem minimal, you certainly know that issues could crop up if you did not properly carry out your duties. As a result, you certainly do your best to attend to your responsibilities.

Though your job may seem insignificant at times, you may feel as if everyone knows your name if a problem comes about. If you work in your company's financial department, you may feel every eye on you if someone accuses you of fraud. Therefore, you may wish to understand what actions could raise suspicions when it comes to this type of activity.

Man facing drug charges following standoff

On Aug. 28, an Illinois man was taken into police custody following a standoff. The standoff occurred at a home located in the Cabrini Green apartment complex on the Near North Side of Chicago.

Officers responded to a report about a man who had a gun. They arrived to a home located in the 900 block of North Cambridge at about 3 p.m. When the man saw the police arrive, he reportedly ran into another home that was located in the nearby 500 block of West Delaware. A SWAT team arrived at the scene about an hour and a half later. The team members entered the home at about 6:30 p.m. and took two individuals into custody without the use of force.

Drug schedules and the Controlled Substances Act

Illinois residents who face charges related to Schedule 1 drugs may be facing more serious penalties than people whose charges involve drugs that belong to other schedules. Prior to the creation of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, there were more than 200 separate drug laws. The CSA made it easier for states to create their own statutes since they could cite schedules instead of having to list drugs. The Drug Enforcement Agency is responsible for adding or removing drugs from the schedules or moving a drug from one schedule to another.

Drugs in Schedule 1 are considered to be the most dangerous and have no medical use. Marijuana is included as a Schedule 1 drug despite the fact that it has been studied for its medical properties. Other drugs included in Schedule 1 are heroin and LSD. Morphine and cocaine are both Schedule 2 drugs while Vicodin is a Schedule 3 drug. Xanax, Ambien and Valium are all Schedule 4, and cough suppressants are Schedule 5.

Health Care Fraud Unit created to investigate healthcare fraud

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois has created the Health Care Fraud Unit. This team of five assistant U.S. attorneys was created to prosecute health care fraud cases of all types, including diversion of controlled substances and fraudulent billing schemes.

The announcement was made several days after two Chicago-area licensed physicians were charged as part of the largest national health care fraud enforcement takedown action led by the U.S .Department of Justice. This action ultimately accused 412 defendants of participating in fraudulent health care billing. Of these defendants, 15, including the two Chicago-area physicians, were facing federal criminal charges.

4 accused of possession and delivery of bath salts

On July 14, it was reported that four Illinois residents were taken into custody after authorities received a tip about a suspicious odor coming from an apartment complex in Pana. The apartment complex was located in the 300 block of US Highway 52.

When a K-9 officer arrived at the scene, several individuals were allegedly found in one of the apartments. They were identified as a 23-year-old Neoga man, a 30-year-old Neoga woman, a 36-year-old Pana man and a 25-year-old Salem woman. When a search of the apartment was conducted, authorities reportedly recovered 135 grams of what was suspected to be bath salts. Drug paraphernalia was also recovered in addition to more than $8,500 in cash.

The importance of probable cause in an arrest

In the state of Illinois, a person cannot be taken into police custody without some sort of evidence or reasonable suspicion that he or she was involved in a crime. In fact, people are legally allowed to walk away from a police officer unless they have been formally detained. If the officer prevents a person from leaving, that person has only been legally taken into custody if the officer had probable cause.

All United States citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A search or seizure only becomes reasonable when law enforcement officers have probable cause. Probable cause must be established through evidence, observation or information derived from witnesses. Law enforcement officers can also establish probable cause through their expertise, such as if they detect tools that are often involved in certain crimes.

I-70 traffic stop leads to police seizure of cash and heroin

Illinois State Police pulled over a vehicle with two women, ages 47 and 19, on Interstate 70 by Collinsville because of driving with an obstructed view. As the owner of the 2013 Volkswagen CC, the 47-year-old woman consented to a police search of the car. A state trooper reported finding a hidden compartment where six duct-taped packages allegedly holding heroin were stowed. The packages weighed four kilograms. Police estimate the value of the seized substance at approximately $500,000.

The vehicle also contained roughly $1,500 in cash, and the police agency has filed the seizure of forfeiture paperwork to take possession of the money. State law enables law enforcement to keep assets considered to be derived from the selling of drugs.

Rapper Chief Keef charged with drug possession

Media outlets have reported that Chicago rapper Keith Cozart, who is better known by his stage name Chief Keef, was taken into custody on drug possession charges on June 12. Reports indicate that Cozart was apprehended at about 8:30 a.m. at Sioux Falls Regional Airport in South Dakota after Transportation Security Administration agents discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his carry-on luggage. The hip-hop star was transported to the Minnehaha County Jail after being booked, but he was subsequently released after posting a $2,000 bond.

TSA agents say that they found two marijuana edibles and three hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana known as blunts in Cozart's bag. The rapper has been charged with a felony for the THC edibles and two misdemeanor counts for the marijuana. He entered not guilty pleas to all of the charges against him during his arraignment hearing. Cozart had traveled to South Dakota to perform in an anti-bullying concert, but his fans were not left disappointed as the 21-year-old was able to take to the stage after being released from custody.

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DMC - Law Offices of Damon M. Cheronis

Law Offices of Damon M. Cheronis
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