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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Actress arrested on felony cocaine charge

The challenges that Illinois faces dealing with drug abuse and distribution is part of a nationwide issue affecting the rich and poor. On Nov. 14, actress Rose McGowan was taken into custody and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. The actress turned herself in as a result of charges stemming from police investigating personal belongings the actress left behind on a United Airlines flight.

On Feb. 1, 2017, the Metropolitan Washington airport's Authority Police Department obtained and issued a warrant for McGowan's arrest. According to law enforcement, these items contained traces of narcotics. When news of the story broke in October, McGowan tweeted her surprise over the matter. McGowan has made headlines as one of the more vocal accusers of Harvey Weinstein, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by the producer.

Man charged with DUI after being found on sidewalk

Police in Riverside, Illinois, say that a 33-year-old man was taken into custody on Nov. 11. Authorities first saw the man's 2005 Cadillac parked on a sidewalk at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and Lionel Road at about 2:40 a.m. When an officer first made contact with the man, he was passed out in his vehicle, and there was a beer in the cup holder.

At first, the driver thought that he was at the intersection of Cermak and Sacramento in Chicago. He also believed that he was on a road as opposed to a sidewalk. Authorities say that he showed signs of impairment and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. Testing later determined that he had a blood alcohol content of .16 percent. In addition to two counts of DUI, the man was charged with having an expired registration, an open container and improper lane usage.

7 facing drug charges following months-long investigation

On Nov. 3, it was announced by authorities in Illinois that seven people were facing drug charges following a lengthy investigation. The investigation began in Rockford in February and ultimately resulted in two federal indictments.

While acting on multiple search warrants, investigators reportedly found about a kilo of heroin, which has a street value of up to $100,000. Additionally, authorities seized about $250,000 in cash, several vehicles and four guns.

Character actor faces DWI after colliding with gas meter

Movie buffs in Illinois may be interested to learn that actor Christopher McDonald is facing drunk driving charges in California. Known for his roles in "Thelma and Louise," "Happy Gilmore" and "Ballers," McDonald was taken into police custody on Oct. 28 following a one-car collision.

After the incident occurred at 9:27 p.m., the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene. The 62-year-old man's vehicle allegedly collided with a gas meter after veering off a highway. San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department reports indicate that officers booked the actor at 11:40 p.m. after sobriety tests showed that his blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit for driving in that state.

Seven people arrested in meth bust

Seven Illinois residents were taken into custody on Oct. 24 for alleged distribution of methamphetamine in Coles County, according to a press release issued by the Charleston Police Department. The arrests were the culmination of a two-month investigation conducted by Charleston police, the East Central Illinois Task Force and the Coles County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities charged a 38-year-old Charleston man with armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, having an outstanding warrant for unlawful distribution of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. Police also charged a 36-year-old Charleston man with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and a 23-year-old Charleston man with forgery and burglary.

Study shows that prosecutors make worse offers to black people

A number of studies has revealed that black people in Illinois are much more likely to be arrested by the police than white individuals even though they are no more likely to commit crimes and make up a much smaller percentage of the population. A new study reveals that the disparate treatment based on race extends into the court and criminal justice system as well. Black people are likelier to receive harsh sentences than are their white counterparts even if they have similar records and have committed similar crimes.

According to research from Loyola Law School, in which 30,807 misdemeanor cases in Wisconsin were reviewed, white defendants were 74 times more likely than black individuals of having their charges dismissed or reduced. Among the defendants that had no prior criminal records, the black defendants also were much less likely to have their charges reduced or dropped.

Tiger Woods seeks a diversionary program for DUI charge

Illinois golf fans may be interested to learn about the developments in Tiger Woods' DUI case. Rather than face a criminal conviction, Woods is seeking to attend a DUI school in Florida. The state allows first-time offenders to seek a pre-trial diversion program.

Woods was initially arrested in late May of 2017. He famously failed a field sobriety test, unable to complete the physical requirements of the test. Although alcohol was not found in his system, he did have a combination of pain killers, sleep aides and marijuana. In Florida, driving under the influence of narcotics carries the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Man charged after selling ecstasy to undercover cop

On Oct. 24, an Illinois man was charged with felony drug offenses after he was accused of selling ecstasy pills to a police officer. According to authorities, the alleged drug sale occurred during an undercover sting in a Chicago suburb.

The undercover investigation was initiated at the beginning of October after authorities received a tip that the accused man was selling ecstasy. The man, a 29-year-old Bridgeview resident, allegedly drove to Orland Park to sell the ecstasy pills to the undercover officer. After the sale, he was taken into police custody and his vehicle was searched. During the search, authorities reported that 113 ecstasy pills, about 27 grams of cocaine, marijuana, drug packaging materials and other items were found.

Illinois man facing multiple drug charges

According to news sources, a 35-year-old man is facing multiple charges after a search of his Aurora home. The search occurred on Sept. 13 at 4:20 p.m.

Law enforcement officers with the Aurora Police Department executed a search warrant on the man's home. They reportedly found $1,000 in cash, three marijuana plants, 217 grams of marijuana, 11 grams of cocaine and 30 Vicodin pills. Officers seized the drugs, cash and a pickup truck and placed the man in custody.

2 charged after 600 pounds of marijuana found

On Oct. 7, law enforcement officers in Illinois detained a Mexican man after a moving violation. His arrest reportedly led to several drug busts during which authorities seized approximately 600 pounds of marijuana that were believed to be linked to a drug cartel in Mexico.

The 32-year-old man was stopped near the Route 134 and Fairlawn intersection in Round Lake Park at about 4:15 p.m. He was ultimately taken into custody for driving without a valid license. While the police were inventorying the vehicle, they reportedly discovered about 3.25 pounds of marijuana and about $1,900 in cash inside. The drugs had an estimated street value of approximately $15,000. He was charged with drug-related offenses, among others.