Project Safe NeighborhoodsFlash

Prosecutions

Prosecution Summaries

March 21, 2014 - Leroy Regan, a Lake County man, is now facing federal charges for allegedly committing eight armed robberies, which netted more than $1,700, over 10 days last August of retail stores across Lake County and northern Cook County. In one of the robberies, shots were fired from the getaway car, but no one was injured. The defendant initially faced state charges filed in Lake County following his arrest last summer, but he was indicted on federal charges this week after the case was adopted from the state under the umbrella of Project Safe Neighborhoods. A second defendant, JEFFREY VALENTINE, was charged with committing the last of the eight robberies with Regan. See Lake County Man Indicted in Eight Armed Robberies of Retail Stores Across Lake and Northern Cook Counties for more details.

October 23, 2013 – Joel Rivas was sentenced as both an armed career criminal and career offender to 360 months in federal prison for drug trafficking and firearm offenses.  Rivas was tried and convicted by a jury in July 2013 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.  Evidence showed that Rivas and co-defendant Ismael Mirada rented a storage unit in Elgin, Illinois, where they sold cocaine and marijuana as well as packaged and stored the cocaine and marijuana for resale.  Elgin Police officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at the storage unit on February 18, 2010.  The officers found 220 grams of cocaine and a .357 caliber handgun in a toolbox, 460 grams of marijuana in a refrigerator, and a 9mm pistol in a desk drawer.  At trial, the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that both Rivas and Miranda conspired together to distribute wholesale quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana to customers in northern and central Illinois, and that the firearms recovered from the storage unit were used to protect their drugs, drug proceeds, and drug operation.  Rivas has prior convictions for possession controlled substance with intent to deliver, and two separate offenses of delivery of a controlled substance.  Rivas committed a part of this instant offense while on work release from the Illinois Department of Corrections, and received an additional sentencing enhancement for obstruction of justice by giving false testimony during his trial.  Miranda, who pled guilty to drug conspiracy and firearm offenses in September 2011, was also sentenced as an armed career offender to 240 months in federal prison.

October 22, 2013 – John Brandon was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for drug trafficking and firearm offenses. Brandon pled guilty in February 2013 to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime committed on October 20, 2009.  Chicago Police officers searched Brandon’s residence in the 1900 block of South Sawyer pursuant to written consent.   The officers found approximately 316 grams of cocaine, 27 grams of crack cocaine, and a .45 caliber revolver in a safe inside the residence.  Brandon has prior felony convictions for first-degree murder and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and was on supervised release from the United States Bureau of Prisons when he committed the offense. 

August 23, 2013 – Brian Lawrence was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for a drug trafficking offense.  Lawrence was tried and convicted by a jury in July 2012 of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver on October 22, 2010.  Lawrence was on parole for first-degree murder and living in a residence in the 7900 block of South Bennett in Chicago when parole agents from the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) conducted a parole compliance check in accordance of the conditions of his parole.  IDOC agents found 492 grams of cocaine, $1,563, four scales, a box of baggies, and a razor blade in a night stand drawer near Lawrence.  In addition, agents found $14,364 in a safe in Lawrence’s bedroom and a box containing 66 bullets of various calibers under his bed.  Lawrence has several prior felony convictions, including first-degree murder, armed violence, aggravated battery with a firearm and delivery of 900 grams or more of cocaine. 

August 7, 2013 – Norvell Moore was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Moore was tried and convicted by a jury in July 2012 of illegal possession and use of a firearm on July 14, 2010. Evidence showed that Moore approached a woman who was sitting in her car at the 7200 block of West Foster Avenue in Chicago, placed a firearm to her head, and told her to get out of the car or he would shoot her. When the victim fled from her car, Moore got in and drove away. Chicago Police officers, who responded to the carjacking call, quickly found Moore driving down the Kennedy Expressway. Moore sped away, crashed the victim’s car at the Ohio Street ramp, and then ran up the embankment and down a street where he was quickly caught by the police. Police later found Moore’s loaded 9mm pistol in the victim’s car. Moore has several prior felony convictions, including robbery, aggravated robbery and gun related offenses.

August 7, 2013 – Michael Bobo was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Bobo pled guilty in October 2012 to illegally possessing a firearm on November 16, 2010. Evidence showed that Bobo kept a loaded .32 caliber revolver in the pocket of his jacket, which was hanging in his closet at his residence in the 500 block of North St. Louis Avenue in Chicago. Chicago Police officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Bobo’s residence and recovered the firearm and five plastic baggies containing crack cocaine that Bobo intended to sell. Bobo has several prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and other narcotics-related offenses.

August 7, 2013 – Arcadio Hernandez was sentenced to the maximum statutory penalty of 120 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Hernandez was tried and convicted by a jury in December 2012 of illegally possessing a firearm on November 23, 2010. Evidence showed that Hernandez was walking in an alley near the 1100 block of North Ridgeway Avenue in Chicago, and when he noticed that Chicago Police officers were looking at him, he dropped the red plastic bag that he had been carrying. The officers found a loaded .38 caliber revolver among the items inside the bag. Hernandez later admitted to the police officers that he had just stolen the gun from drug dealers who had previously beat him up. Hernandez has several prior felony convictions, including residential burglary, criminal sex abuse, and drug trafficking offenses.

July 15, 2013 – Corichey Grayson was sentenced to 151 months imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and a consecutive 60 month sentence for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Grayson pled guilty in February 2013 to the drug trafficking and firearm possession charges that occurred on November 13, 2011. Evidence showed that Grayson was inside his car on the side of the street in the 9300 block of South Yates Avenue in Chicago when Chicago Police officers approached him. The police officers found marijuana and over 10 grams of cocaine base that was packaged for resale and a loaded .25 caliber pistol that Grayson later admitted he possessed to protect his drugs and drug proceeds. Grayson has several prior convictions, including two bank robberies.

May 8, 2013 – David Lockett was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Lockett pled guilty in July 2012 to illegally possessing a firearm on March 20, 2010. Evidence showed that Lockett kept a loaded .44 caliber revolver in a hollowed-out VCR at the foot of his bed at his residence in the 1100 block of West 73rd Street in Chicago. Chicago Police officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Lockett’s residence and recovered the firearm. Lockett has several prior felony convictions, including convictions for robbery, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, armed violence, drug trafficking, domestic battery, and burglary.

April 17, 2013 – Tyrone Hudson was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Hudson pled guilty in September 2012 to illegally possessing a firearm on March 5, 2011. Evidence showed that Hudson had a loaded .45 caliber Hi-Point pistol with an obliterated serial number when he was in front of a residence on South Justine Street in Chicago. He then walked to a parked car and placed the firearm, which was wrapped in a t-shirt, on the floor near the driver’s seat. Chicago Police officers recovered the firearm and arrested Hudson, who later said that he had purchased the firearm for $300. Hudson has several prior felony convictions, including convictions for aggravated vehicular hijacking and distribution of a controlled substance.

March 21, 2013 – Michael Henderson was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Henderson was tried and convicted by a jury in March 2012 of illegally possessing a firearm on August 10, 2010. Evidence showed that Henderson and a passenger were driving around at night in the area near West Diversey and North Sacramento on the west side of Chicago. Henderson had a loaded gun, and his passenger was carrying heroin packaged for sale. When Chicago Police officers stopped Henderson for committing a traffic violation, they saw a gun on the driver’s seat, and Henderson later admitted that the gun was his. Henderson has ten prior convictions, including convictions for aggravated battery and drug trafficking.

March 15, 2013 – Tralvis Edmond was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Edmond was tried and convicted by a jury in September 2012 of illegally possessing firearms and heroin on May 20, 2010. Evidence showed that Edmond possessed two firearms Chicago Police officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Edmond’s apartment on the 700 block of North Ridgeway in Chicago. The officers found two firearms, including a Tec-9 with an extended magazine containing 20 lives rounds of ammunition, under Edmond’s mattress. Elsewhere in the apartment, the officers found 14 individual Ziploc bags each containing a tinfoil packet of heroin. Edmond has prior felony convictions for robbery and drug trafficking.

March 12, 2013 - Michael Dorsey was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Dorsey pled guilty in October 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on December 19, 2009. Evidence showed that Dorsey, who was on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections, was working at a retail establishment near 63rd Street and Western Avenue in Chicago. Chicago Police officers arrested Dorsey after they recovered a loaded .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his pants pocket. Dorsey has several prior felony convictions including six armed robberies and three drug trafficking offenses.

March 5, 2013 – Gregory Blalock was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Blalock pled guilty in November 2012 to illegally possessing a firearm and crack cocaine on March 16, 2011. Evidence showed that Blalock used an apartment in the 1600 block of East 50th Place in Chicago to mix and package cocaine and crack cocaine for distribution. On March 16, 2011, Blalock met another person outside the back door of the apartment building and handed him approximately 244 grams of crack cocaine in exchange for over $7,000 in cash. ATF agents arrested Blalock when he returned to the building, and after searching his apartment, found an additional 170 grams of crack cocaine, cash, and a 9 millimeter Ruger semi-automatic pistol used to protect the crack cocaine and drug proceeds.

March 1, 2013 – Mario Zuniga was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 188 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Zuniga was tried and convicted by a jury in January 2012 of illegally possessing both a firearm and cocaine on November 3, 2009. Evidence showed that Zuniga was in a bar in the 1600 block of West North Avenue in Chicago when he got into an altercation with another patron. Zuniga dragged the woman out the back door of the bar and then pointed a loaded .380 caliber pistol in her face. Chicago police responded to a 911 call placed by another bar patron and found Zuniga behind the bar where they arrested him and recovered the firearm. The police officers also found Zuniga to be in possession of 3.1 grams of cocaine. Zuniga has nine prior felony convictions, including robbery, drug trafficking, and attempted murder.

February 19, 2013 – George Parks was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 244 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Parks was tried and convicted by a jury in October 2012 of illegally possessing a firearm on January 5, 2011. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers were on routine patrol in the area of Lawndale and Ridgeway Avenues in Chicago when they saw Parks in a nearby alley at approximately 5:50 a.m. The officers drove around the block and again saw Parks peeking out of the alley at the officers and later attempting to hide among the cars parked on the street. When the officers got out of their car to investigate, Parks walked away and tossed a firearm to the ground. The officers stopped Parks and recovered a loaded .38 caliber revolver. Parks has twelve prior felony convictions, including eight offenses where defendant attacked or threaten people, at times with deadly weapons including a firearm, a knife, and a metal pipe.

February 14, 2013 – Guy Riney was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 204 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Riney was tried and convicted by a jury in August 2012 of illegally possessing a firearm on September 2, 2009. Evidence showed that Riney was sitting in a vehicle in the 400 block of North Monticello in Chicago, and when Chicago police officers approached, Riney got out of the vehicle and began to walk away. The officers observed a firearm in Riney’s waistband, placed Riney in custody, and recovered a fully loaded .357 magnum revolver. Riney, a member of the Conservative Vice Lords, has several prior felony convictions, including burglaries, drug trafficking, and aggravated domestic battery.

February 14, 2013 - Lamar Tucker was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Tucker was tried and convicted by a jury in April 2012 of illegally possessing a firearm on May 21, 2010. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Tucker’s residence in the 2900 block of West Harrison in Chicago. Police recovered a .22 caliber rifle inside Tucker’s bedroom and Tucker later admitted to the police that he was holding the rifle for someone else. Tucker has several prior felony convictions, including armed robbery and drug trafficking offenses.

January 3, 2013 – Darnell Boyce was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 210 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted for a felony offense. Boyce was tried and convicted by a jury in November 2011 of illegally possessing a firearm on March 27, 2010. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers responded to a complaint of domestic abuse at a residence in the 6300 block of South Sangamon. When they arrived, the officers observed Boyce run through several alleys and then throw a .357 Magnum into a nearby yard. Boyce has 14 prior convictions, including three armed robberies

December 7, 2012 – Elbert Brown, Jr. was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Brown pled guilty in September 2012 to illegally possessing a firearm on January 1, 2012. Evidence showed that Brown celebrated the New Year by shooting a firearm into the air in the 600 block of North Kedzie in Chicago. Brown has several prior convictions, including convictions for involuntary manslaughter, armed violence, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and possession of a controlled substance.

October 26, 2012 – Marco Pineda was sentenced to 115 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Pineda was tried and convicted by a jury in December 2011 of illegally possessing a firearm on September 28, 2010. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the area of the 2200 block of West Race Avenue in Chicago. The officers observed Pineda, who appeared intoxicated, walk away from the police officers and then throw a firearm to the ground. The officers recovered the 9mm semi-automatic firearm and arrested Pineda. Pineda later told the officers that he had the gun because someone had killed his friend and that he was going to the area to find out what had happened. Pineda has several prior felony convictions, including aggravated battery, unlawful use of a weapon, and two separate attempt robberies.

August 22, 2012 – Loren Coleman was sentenced to concurrent terms of 97 months in federal prison for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense, and a consecutive term of 60 months’ in federal prison for using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, for a total sentence of 157 months’ imprisonment. Coleman pled guilty in May 2012 to possessing 168 grams of heroin, which he had intended to distribute, and two firearms at his residence in Chicago. Chicago police officers found a .38 caliber revolver, a .380 pistol, and the heroin when executing a court-authorized search warrant at the residence. Coleman has several prior convictions, including multiple drug trafficking offenses and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

July 13, 2012 – Calvin Lesure was sentenced to concurrent terms of 72 months in federal prison for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense, and a consecutive term of 60 months’ in federal prison for using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, for a total sentence of 132 months’ imprisonment. Lesure pled guilty in January 2012 to possessing 4.6 grams of crack cocaine, which he intended to distribute, and a loaded .40 caliber pistol, which he kept to protect his drugs, at his residence in the 6300 block of South California in Chicago on February 4, 2010. Lesure also kept a 7.62 caliber rifle and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a family apartment in the 5700 block of West Washington Boulevard in Chicago on October 5, 2010. Lesure has several prior convictions, including aggravated robbery and distributing controlled substances near a school.

May 14, 2012 – Jerome Dixon was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Dixon pled guilty in December 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on August 3, 2010. Evidence showed that Dixon stood armed with a .22 caliber revolver while standing near the corner of Chicago Avenue and Ridgway Avenue in Chicago. Dixon possessed the firearm to protect his drug dealing activities and to potentially shoot a rival gang member who had recently robbed him. Dixon has several prior felony convictions, including controlled substance offenses and aggravated battery to a police officer.

April 17, 2012 - James Pinkney was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Pinkney pled guilty in October 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on April 29, 2010. Evidence showed that Pinkney was in an alley near the intersection of Madison and Pulaski Streets in Chicago, and used a .40 caliber pistol to shoot towards a CTA bus stop on Madison. Chicago police officers arrested Pinkney, who told the officers, “I had to do what I had to do.” Pinkney, a member of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, has 10 prior felony convictions, including criminal sexual assault, multiple robberies, and multiple firearms offenses.

March 21, 2012 – Ronald Hunter was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Hunter pled guilty in September 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on September 12, 2010. Evidence showed that Hunter and his next-door neighbor in Joliet, exchanged words during an argument, after which Hunter retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from inside his residence, returned to the yard, and shot the neighbor in the leg. Hunter has several prior felony convictions, including residential burglary, aggravated battery, and a drug trafficking offense.

March 1, 2012 – Richard Brito was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Brito pled guilty in May 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on October 30, 2009, in Chicago. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers responded to a complaint of a man armed with a gun in the 2800 block of South Millard Avenue in Chicago. When they arrived, the officers found Brito with a loaded .45 caliber handgun in his waistband. Brito, a member of the Latin Kings street gang, has prior convictions for murder and aggravated battery.

January 11, 2012 – Bruce Spruille was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Spruille pled guilty in November 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on July 10, 2011. Evidence showed that Spruille was with a group of individuals shortly after midnight in the 5100 block of South Ada in Chicago. Chicago police officers approached and observed Spruille throw a firearm into a nearby yard. The officers arrested Spruille and recovered the .22 caliber firearm that Spruille later told police he had bought for protection. Spruille has several prior felony convictions, including multiple drug trafficking offenses.

November 10, 2011 – Michael Taylor was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 40 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Taylor was tried and convicted by a jury in June 2011 of illegally possessing a firearm on December 1, 2009. Evidence showed that on November 28, 2009, Taylor was in Aurora attending a party, at which a fight broke out between rival gang members. Taylor brandished and fired a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Taylor then went looking for rival gang members and drove to a nearby apartment complex, where he again fired his gun. Taylor then drove to another residential area and fired his gun in the direction of a house that he knew to be the residence of a rival gang member. On December 1, 2009, Taylor heard that a rival gang member had fired shots at his uncle’s house. Taylor became angry and again went looking for the gang members. He drove to the intersection of Ohio Street and North Avenue in Aurora, where Taylor and his passenger fired several shots in the direction of another vehicle. Taylor returned to his uncle’s residence, where Aurora police officers arrested him and recovered the firearm. Taylor has several prior convictions, largely involving in the use of firearms, over the span of approximately 10 years.

September 12, 2011 – Willie Brown was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 180 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Brown pled guilty in March 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on February 25, 2010, in Chicago. Evidence showed that Brown kept four firearms – a .357 caliber revolver, a .38 caliber derringer, a 9mm pistol, and a .32 caliber revolver – at his residence in the 0-100 block of North Austin Boulevard in Chicago. Chicago police also found inside Brown’s residence a Project Safe Neighborhoods letter issued to those released on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections. The letter warned Brown that if he possessed a firearm, he could be prosecuted “as an armed career criminal, and go to federal prison for a minimum of 15 years.” Brown has several prior convictions, including multiple drug trafficking convictions.

September 8, 2011 – Herman Jiles was sentenced to 103 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Jiles pled guilty in March 2011 to illegally possessing a firearm on July 21, 2010. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers saw Jiles riding his bicycle near Douglas Park in Chicago and noticed that Jiles had a firearm. The police officers chased Jiles and observed him throw the firearm, a 9mm pistol onto a stairwell of a residence in the 1300 block of South Albany in Chicago. Jiles has several prior felony convictions, including drug trafficking offenses and aggravated assault of a police officer.

April 19, 2011 – Eric Ozuna was sentenced as to 113 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Ozuna was convicted by a jury in December 2010 of illegally possessing a firearm on November 7, 2009. Evidence showed that Ozuna was in the area near the 4800 block of North Lawndale in Chicago when the Chicago police officers responded to a 911 call and saw Ozuna holding a firearm. Ozuna threw the firearm into a neighbor’s yard and attempted to flee, but the police officers caught him and recovered the .38 caliber revolver that Ozuna had thrown. Ozuna has several prior convictions, including two prior armed robberies.

January 28, 2011 - Jimmy Brown was sentenced as an armed career criminal to 15 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. Brown was tried and convicted by a jury in December 2009 of illegally possessing a firearm on March 16, 2008, in Chicago. Evidence showed that Chicago police officers observed Brown and others outside a house in the 7700 block of South Marshfield. One officer observed a gun in Brown’s waistband and then officers pursued Brown in their vehicle and on foot. The weapon, a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, was found in Brown’s hand when he was apprehended. Brown, a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, has three prior robbery convictions since 2001.

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