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Chicago Criminal Defense Blog

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.

Breach of trust: When you are accused of embezzlement

Whether you worked for a company for decades or only a short time, you probably earned some respect among your employers and co-workers. Because your boss was busy attending to other issues in the business, he or she entrusted the accounts to you, perhaps based on your resume or simply because of your reputation in the community.

It may have been challenging to handle the financial affairs of the business or organization, especially if you were struggling with your own budget. Your frustration may have increased if the owner of your company showed no interest in your work or spent no time with you reviewing the accounts. Now those accounts don't add up, and fingers are pointing at you.

Alleged gang members arrested on weapons and drug charges

A joint federal and state investigation has led to the arrest of almost 50 members of a street gang in Illinois. They are alleged to have been involved in an extended criminal enterprise involving drugs and weapons.

Those who were arrested have been accused of multiple drug and weapons violations. The investigation took more than two years. It is alleged that the gang has been operating in Chicago for decades distributing drugs and guns. The drugs involved included methamphetamine, crack and cocaine. The charges are on a federal and state level.

Dermatologist convicted on health care fraud charges

On May 12, it was reported that an Illinois dermatologist based in Chicago was convicted on charges of health care fraud after he was accused of billing for care associated with fraudulently reported pre-cancerous treatments. The man, age 48, submitted false claims from 2007 to 2013 and faces up to 120 years in prison as a result.

The dermatologist would reportedly bill cosmetic treatments as needed to treat pre-cancerous lesions known as actinic keratosis. However, he knew that patients did not have this condition. As such, he documented the false claims with false diagnoses on the patients' charts to cover his tracks.

Traffic stop results in arrests

Two people were arrested after a traffic stop on April 2, 2017, in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on drug and weapon charges. According to a Bolingbrook Police lieutenant, at 8 p.m., a black Ford pickup truck was pulled over for a vehicle registration violation near I-55 and Route 53. During the traffic stop, the officers discovered that there was an active arrest warrant on the passenger, a 45-year-old man from Missouri.

A search was conducted on the vehicle. The officers found a substance that was confirmed as methamphetamine. Also found were drug paraphernalia and a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun.

Man awarded $13 million for wrongful conviction case

On April 12, it was reported that an Illinois man who spent 21 years in prison received a $13 million award for a wrongful conviction. The man was convicted and incarcerated after he signed a murder confession that was allegedly drafted by Cook County prosecutors and officers with the Chicago Police Department.

The man, who was 20 years old at the time, was convicted for the deaths of two individuals in 1995. There was evidence that the man was in police custody on a disorderly conduct charge when the two individuals were killed in their apartment three years earlier. When he was taken into police custody on a drug charge at a later date, he claimed that the authorities coerced him through mental and physical abuse into signing a false confession.

2 charged with drug crimes following apartment raid

On April 1, law enforcement authorities in Illinois stated that a large amount of marijuana and crack cocaine was recovered during a drug raid. The raid was carried out by a unit of the Evanston Police Department at an apartment located on the 2600 block of Central Street.

The raid was a result of an investigation into a group that was accused of selling drugs. Authorities reportedly recovered more than five pounds of marijuana, an estimated 40 grams of what was thought to be crack cocaine and approximately $4,000 in cash. The authorities also found drug packaging paraphernalia, including plastic baggies and a scale.

Avoiding legal trouble when using medical marijuana

The use of medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, as long as its use is only for qualifying medical conditions and obtained according to regulations. Even if you have a qualifying medical condition, but you did not obtain the drug the right way from appropriate sources, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

It is possible for criminal charges to follow the inappropriate use of medical marijuana, and if you find yourself in this situation, there is much at stake. You would find it beneficial to secure assistance from an attorney who can help you protect both your future and your freedom.

Star of HBO hit series facing drug charges

Illinois residents may know the comedian, actor and author Artie Lange best for his work on the Howard Stern radio show, and they could be aware that the 49-year-old entertainer has struggled with substance abuse issues in the past and attempted to take his own life in 2010. Lange's career appeared to be on an upward trajectory when his HBO show 'Crashing" premiered in February to positive reviews, but the actor's fortunes took a negative turn on March 12 when he was taken into custody on drug charges by police in New Jersey.

A Hoboken Police Department representative says that officers were dispatched to a condominium development in the vicinity of Shipyard Lane and 14th Street to investigate reports of a suspicious individual attempting to gain entry to a vehicle in the building's parking lot. Officers say that they found no signs of the individual when they arrived at the scene, but they claim to have noticed packages of what they believed to be illegal drugs inside the vehicle. Lange is then said to have approached the officers and told them that the car belonged to him.

Study indicates racial bias in convictions

Illinois residents may be interested to learn about a study completed by the National Registry of Exonerations that indicates that African Americans are far more likely to be wrongfully convicted of crimes than whites. Researchers looked at cases from 1989 to 2016, and they discovered that 47 percent of individuals exonerated for crimes were African-American, which is three times their representation in the U.S. population.

It was found that African-Americans were more likely to be wrongfully convicted of charges involving murder, drug crimes and sexual assault. African-Americans were seven times as likely to be wrongly found guilty of murder and 12 times as likely to be wrongly convicted of drug crimes compared to whites. These findings are attributed to a combination of bias, racism and institutional discrimination.

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