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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

More Chicago drug convictions overturned in police scandal

Many of our readers will recall a Chicago police scandal from last year that resulted in a number of people having their convictions overturned. The story is getting national attention because the courts are once again exonerating those who were convicted in drug cases based on arrests made by the crooked Chicago police sergeant and an officer on his team.

Last week, 14 men had their convictions tossed. When added to previous exonerations, 63 people have had their convictions vacated because they involved the criminal actions of Sgt. Ronald Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed.

Two accused Mexican cartel figures face Chicago court dates

After the list of guilty verdicts had been read, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman turned to his wife and the couple exchanged thumbs-ups. Despite the momentary bravado, the guilty verdicts could mean life behind bars for the legendary Mexican drug cartel figure after a jury found him guilty of involvement in not only billion-dollar drug trafficking, but murders, bribery and more.

Attention now turns to two men in Chicago and their impending court cases. They are accused of being Guzman’s top associates in the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Illinois marijuana legalization bill proposed

According to the Chicago Tribune, a new proposal by an Illinois lawmaker has kicked off the latest round of debate on marijuana legalization here. Rep. Carol Ammons has filed a bill to legalize recreational weed use and would also allow licensed businesses to grow and sell cannabis. It would also enable state residents to grow up to two dozen plants at home.

The bill would also allow businesses to create weed consumption areas in which their customers could imbibe.

Chicago police investigate possible false report from alderman

It is an understatement, at the very least, to say Chicago has has a colorful political history. Another chapter was added recently when law enforcement officials said they are opening an investigation into whether Alderman Joe Moreno filed a false report about a stolen car.

According to a local newscast, the alderman’s girlfriend was arrested after Moreno reported the vehicle stolen.

A look at an allegation of attempted sexual assault

It is easy to make a common mistake: People read a news story about someone being arrested and immediately assume that the suspect is guilty.

We read recently in the Chicago Sun-Times of a man who has been arrested on a charge of attempted sexual assault. The 24-year-old allegedly accosted a 23-year-old female acquaintance at her Lake County home.

Suburban Chicago contractor accused of fraud, theft felonies

One of the most prominent Chicago suburbs, Joliet sits southwest of the city. Law enforcement officials there recently arrested a 39-year-old contractor and charged him 12 felonies, including home repair fraud and theft.

Police accuse the man of bilking a pair of Joliet residents out of thousands of dollars in a home repair scam that was carried out between March 2017 and August of last year, a news report stated.

Former Chicago restauranteur arrested, facing wire fraud charges

When it opened more than six year ago, Chicago’s Embeya received rave reviews for its Vietnamese cuisine. When the West Loop eatery suddenly shuttered in 2016, foodies were left wondering what had happened to one of the city’s many culinary bright spots.

One of Embeya’s former owners was recently arrested in Valencia, Spain, where the 46-year-old had been vacationing. Attila Gyulai is accused of federal wire fraud, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Big Pharma’s 2018 included fraud, bribery arrests and more

It’s the season for holiday celebrations, family get-togethers and year-end reviews. Big Pharma has been wildly successful, as usual, but has also been rocked throughout 2018 with prominent figures being arrested for wire fraud, securities fraud, bribery and more.

Among the companies mired in scandal was North Chicago-based AbbVie, which faced allegations that it engaged in a kickback scheme to boost Illinois sales of its rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira. It was accused of providing kickbacks in cash, but also in the form of trips, patient referrals, gifts, meals and more.

Police plot to frame suspects is laid bare

The story of Raimundo Atesiano is similar to events we have seen unfold here in Chicago and in many other places around the nation.

Atesiano recently told a federal judge that as a law enforcement officer, he felt pressure to produce arrests that resulted in convictions. If he did that, he knew that promotions and raises would follow. So he devised a plan to boost the arrest statistics vital to advancement of his career: he would frame African Americans for crimes they did not commit.

Three in Chicago suburb charged with marijuana trafficking

The value of the 68 pounds of marijuana seized in a suburban Chicago house is estimated at $310,000, news reports stated. The Naperville Police Department said it received information about illegal drug activity at the rental home and officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence.

Two Illinois men and a California man were arrested. Each was charged with the class X felony of possession with intent to deliver over 5,000 grams and with possession of cannabis over 5,000 grams, a class 1 felony.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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