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September 2010 Archives

Excellent customer service may have been the downfall of four men who operated a suburban Chicago cocaine delivery service dubbed "Dial-a-Rock" by Chicago police, according to the Chicago Tribune. All four pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 12 years.

Julio Zenteno, Ector Cortez, Adrian Peregrino-Garcia and Carlos Ruiz were charged with criminal drug conspiracy following a suburban drug sweep in April, as reported earlier by the Tribune. Ector Cortez was identified by police as the "kingpin" of the criminal enterprise.

Police are in the process of investigating two separately reported incidents of sexual assault near the Loyola University campus, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Both incidents allegedly occurred in the early morning hours last Sunday, according to police.

The first reported attack involved a Loyola University student near the Lake Shore campus at about 3:30 a.m. in the 6200 block of North Kenmore Avenue, Rogers Park District police captain Roger Whalen told reporters.

The 19-year-old female victim said both she and the alleged attacker, also a student, had been drinking alcohol and had been making out in a laundry room shortly before the alleged assault occurred, he said. She reportedly pushed him away when he assaulted her and then told her roommate. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that 40-year-old Foster Ave. Beach concession stand operator Stephen Kukensis saved a woman from being raped last Tuesday. He said he heard screams from the beach house rest room just 20 to 30 feet away from his stand, which he was just in the process of opening:

"It was happening right there. There was no time to call the police."

He found a man trying to rape a 37-year-old woman in one of the rest room stalls, forced his way in and pulled the man out. Stephen Kukensis said the man punched him and appeared as if he was reaching for a knife or gun but fled instead.

Cook County prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for 60-year-old Lawrence Myers and 47-year-old Marion Andre Comier, who were charged with arson in a fire that killed seven people in Cicero, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

The Illinois criminal defense attorneys representing the two men told a Cook County judge earlier this week that their clients had indeed been served with papers regarding the possibility of capital punishment. Prosecutors say Lawrence Myers, who owned the building, hired building manager Marion Comier to set the fire.

North Side resident Sami Samir Hassoun, 22 years old, was arrested on Sunday after allegedly trying to detonate what he thought was a backpack full of explosives on a busy street near Wrigley Field, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Thankfully the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force knew about his plans well beforehand.

In fact the FBI supplied Sami Hassoun with the fake explosive device, which was delivered to the would-be terrorist by an undercover agent.

He remains held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. And since it's a federal case, he'll want a Chicago criminal attorney familiar with federal criminal law.

Alleged drug dealer Steven Dragon panicked when he discovered that a half a kilo of cocaine had been stolen from the trunk of his car and called 911, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. What he didn't realize is that the police took his drugs in January 2009, according to a federal complaint unsealed a few days ago.

Police were engaged in a 15-month undercover job dubbed "Operation Shady Business," targeting Steven Dragon and 23 other reputed members of the Two-Six street gang. They now face state and federal gun and drug charges.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, but Steven Dragon's 911 call might make the case that much more difficult his Chicago criminal attorney.

Radical Florida preacher Terry Jones' 15 minutes of fame might finally be over, but that didn't stop someone from leaving a burnt copy of the Quran on the sidewalk outside the Muslim Community Center on the Northwest Side, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

Police are investigating the incident to determine who may have been responsible and whether it was a hate crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines hate crime as follows: 

A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

April Bainter and Joel Ballard, the 18-year-old parents of deceased infant Joel Bainter, were charged last Sunday with one count each of aggravated battery of a child and endangering the life of a child, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The young parents' Chicago criminal attorney was not named nor cited in the local press but any attempt to defend his or her clients by describing the ordeal as an accident, in the absence of further evidence, might not go over so well.

An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office concluded that the 3-month-old child died of multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma specifically as a result of child abuse. The baby's death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.

Aurora resident Hector Mauricio, 24, pleaded guilty to the 2007 fatal stabbing of 83-year-old neighbor Roscoe "Rich" Ebey, according to the Chicago Tribune. Although guilty pleas typically don't result in a death sentence, he may still be put to death.

The article did not mention Hector Mauricio's Chicago criminal defense attorney, so it's not clear what his strategy will be for the upcoming sentencing hearing, scheduled for Nov. 29.

Roscoe Ebey was a World War II veteran and a popular figure in the community who lived in his house for more than 55 years and even had a citizenship award named after him. Each year, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez recognizes a good citizen with an award in Roscoe Ebey's name.

The family of slain South Side teenager Deantonio Goss said they believe a fight in the school cafeteria may have led to his shooting death as he walked home from school with his 18-year-old friend, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His was the first recorded death in the Chicago Public School system this school year.

Police are still looking for suspects. As a Chicago criminal attorney would tell you, the perpetrator (if also a minor) could be charged as an adult if caught and convicted.

Deantonio Goss and his friend were shot just a couple of blocks from home in an alley on the 8600 block of South Saginaw, according to police. While Deantonio Goss was declared dead less than one hour later, his friend survived and was taken to the hospital in serious to critical condition.

The home that South Side Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) shares with her 14-year-old niece and an upstairs tenant was burglarized on Sept. 6, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The intruders made off with more than $5,000 in jewelry, TVs, DVD players, video games, computers and other electronics.

No suspects were in custody as of Sept. 7. But since they burglarized the home of a Chicago politician, perhaps by accident, they might want to invest in a particularly skilled Chicago criminal attorney.

Police said they're puzzled why 39-year-old Darrell Franklin stabbed the 78-year-old Provena-Mercy Hospital patient sharing a room with his mother, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The Aurora man allegedly used a dull dinner knife taken from a food tray.

The woman, whose name was not released by authorities, suffered cuts on head and body, a broken nose and another broken bone in her face.

Perhaps not even Darrell Franklin's Chicago criminal attorney, if he has one, knows what led to the alleged attack. He was ordered held on $100,000 and charged with aggravated battery to a senior citizen; if convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Former Gov. George Ryan, who four years ago was convicted on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and filing fake tax returns, wants the judge in his case to release him from prison in light of a recent US Supreme Court decision, the Chicago Tribune reported.

His Illinois criminal defense attorneys argue that the high court's decision regarding the so-called "honest services" statute, which coincidentally was used against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in his corruption case, means their client should be released.

Chronic gang activity and a reduction in officers resulting from budget cuts are the main culprits behind Chicago's continuing violent crime epidemic, according to a Christian Science Monitor article taking stock of the city's summer of high crime.

Chicago's homicide count totaled 273 this year as of Aug. 12. It's unclear how many of these crimes have resulted in convictions; and since all suspects are innocent until proven guilty and have the right to a Chicago criminal attorney, it's possible that one or more of the deaths could be ruled an accident or an act of self-defense.