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Chicago Criminal Defense Blog

Insiders profit from government leaks

For corporate officials in Illinois and across the country, insider trading of securities opens one to prosecution and potentially serious consequences. Some federal prosecutors who have been heavily involved in major insider trading cases are now addressing the culture of leaks in the political system. Of particular concern is the political intelligence industry. Unlike traditional leaking of policy information to journalists, the industry pays for insider information in order to profit on the stock market.

It is well known that public policy decisions can have a major positive or negative impact on stock prices. Some hedge funds are reported to pay consultants who work in or around the federal government to leak information that they can use to make beneficial investing decisions based on these insider details. For example, one man, who consulted for a hedge fund after leaving a job in public health care administration, was charged with disclosing information about changing government payments to the fund. The fund then used this heretofore undisclosed information to make over $3.5 million in trading profits.

Teen faces drug charges after pizza parlor incident

A 19-year-old man was charged with possession of a controlled substance after he was seen snorting cocaine in the restroom of a pizza shop in Palos Hills, Illinois. He was also seen smoking marijuana in the beer garden at the same location with another individual. The man and the other individual were both escorted off the premises.

The man then threw a baggie of cocaine and the cannabis underneath his car, which resulted in police taking him into custody. Although his attorney claimed in court that the honor roll college student had no money for bond, it was set at $30,000. The judge in the case reasoned that if he had money for drugs, then he had money to get out of jail. His next court date was scheduled for April 12.

Global drug possession penalties vary widely

As in other regions of the country and places around the world, Illinois criminalizes the possession of designated controlled substances, often referred to as illegal drugs. The penalties for drug possession can vary significantly depending on the specific drug a person has as well as the amount that they possess and their previous record for drug charges. The charges could range from misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana to felony charges for possession of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine.

Every state sets its own criteria for drug crimes, including penalties for possession charges, leading to widely variant policies that differ from state to state. Of course, some drug offenses can also be federal crimes, but these usually reflect trafficking or manufacture allegations rather than simple possession. Debates over the best way to deal with drug offenses have become prominent nationally and internationally. In Illinois, marijuana has been largely decriminalized for personal recreational use and legalized for medical use, with many advocates pushing for full legalization.

The elements and penalties of embezzlement

Perhaps you suspected something was awry because the atmosphere in your office or department has been tense lately. On the other hand, it may have come as a shock to you when your supervisor or manager hinted that there was an investigation underway because of missing funds.

You may not have been the only one in the room with a sinking feeling, but because your hands are on the financial books, you are likely at the center of the investigation. Even if authorities have not yet charged you with embezzlement, you are certainly feeling the heat.

Illinois man sentenced to 35 years in prison for drugs, guns

On Feb. 23, an Illinois judge sentenced a 45-year-old man to 35 years in prison after he was convicted of drug trafficking and illegal firearms charges. He must also complete eight years of supervised release once he's out of prison.

The defendant, who lives in Champaign, was taken into custody in late 2016 for dealing over a kilogram of crack cocaine. At the time of his arrest, he had cocaine, heroin, various other illicit drugs and three semi-automatic firearms in his possession. In September 2017, he pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking in October.

New law may favor Illinois defendants

Passed in the summer of 2017, the Bail Reform Act took effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. The new law requires courts within the state to consider a defendant's financial situation when determining if he or she should post bail to be released. It also requires that the court consider the threat a person may face before requiring bail as a condition of release.

Individuals may be eligible for recognizance bonds if they are charged with nonviolent or minor crimes. In Adams County, this may be determined by a threat score, which takes into account the likelihood that an individual shows up to court or could be taken into custody again while out on bond. Even if a person is released on his or her own recognizance, the state may be able to place conditions on the defendant such as home monitoring or a curfew.

Illinois man and woman face drug charges

A man and a women were arrested on drug charges in January 2018 in the course of a traffic stop conducted by local police, with the involvement of the East Central Illinois Drug Task Force. The two were taken into custody near the intersection of Fourth Street and Adams Avenue. The police stated that a K-9 drug detecting dog gave an alert about the car, giving them a basis to begin a search of the vehicle after the stop.

Police stated that the man had an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine in his possession. Meanwhile, the woman, is accused of having heroin in her possession as well as hypodermic needles that contain heroin residue. The man was arrested on charges of meth possession, while the woman was accused of heroin possession and possession of drug equipment. Both methamphetamine and heroin are designated as controlled substances.

Police seize several pounds of marijuana from home

On Jan. 19, a 32-year-old Illinois man was arrested for allegedly dealing drugs after police executed a search warrant at his Arlington Heights home. He has been charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

According to authorities, police found nearly 14 pounds of marijuana in the defendant's residence, including a 13-pound brick and 454 grams divided into prepackaged containers. The defendant also had 8 grams of marijuana in the waistband of his pants. In total, the drugs had an estimated street value of in excess of $125,000.

Man stopped with cocaine, marijuana in car

A 40-year-old Illinois man was taken into custody on Jan. 5 after police pulled him over for driving in a lane reserved for parked cars. The stop occurred in the 3300 block of Harlem in Riverside around 1 p.m.

The man told the officer he did not have a driver's license, and when his identification was checked, it was discovered that he had four prior convictions for DUI and that his license had been revoked. The man was taken into custody and his vehicle was searched. A small black scale, plastic bags with cocaine in them and cannabis among other items were reportedly found. Police then called a canine to the scene and found more cannabis and cocaine along with brownies allegedly containing cannabis.

Police looking to add portable drug testing for drivers

Illinois residents should be aware that some authorities in the state intend to test out new methods to determine if drivers have taken drugs. For example, officers in Carol Stream will begin using mouth swabs to test for a variety of drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine and marijuana.

If the process works, officers will have portable drug testing tools to help take impaired drivers off the road. The test uses a cheek swab to give officers information on the amount of the drug that is present. In order for a motorist to be taken into custody for driving under the influence of drugs, however, there are certain impairment thresholds that they must meet.

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