Two Illinois men face decades behind bars after allegedly trying to convince undercover police officers that a package of pancake mix was actually a kilogram of cocaine. Distributing or attempting to distribute benign substances disguised as illegal drugs is a felony under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. The two Elgin residents, who are 18 and 19 years of age, have also been charged with multiple felony counts of manufacturing, possessing and delivering cocaine.
Police reports suggest that undercover officers purchased small amounts of cocaine from an 18-year-old man in Elgin on Feb. 7 and Feb. 10. Officers say that they then arranged to meet the man again to make a much larger purchase. The man is said to have agreed to meet the officers with a kilogram of the drug in Elgin Park on June 20. Reports indicate that the officers agreed to pay $27,000 for the cocaine. Police say that they took the man into custody along with his 19-year-old alleged accomplice after completing the undercover drug buy.
Officers say that the 19-year-old man approached their vehicle and handed them a small square package wrapped in tape. Subsequent analysis revealed that the substance inside the package was pancake mix and not cocaine. Bail for the 18-year-old man was later set at $200,000. Bail for his alleged accomplice was set at $20,000.
Felony drug charges can have serious consequences, but these cases can be difficult to prove for prosecutors. Police officers must conduct themselves within boundaries established by the U.S. Constitution, and experienced criminal defense attorneys could seek to have drug charges dismissed or seized drugs ruled inadmissible when these protections may have been ignored.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Elgin men tried to pass off pancake mix as $27,000 worth of cocaine, police say”, Janelle Walker, June 22, 2017