A 37-year-old man who already had a long history within the Illinois Department of Corrections was arrested on Dec. 27 after police in Dixon searched his home. He had been out on parole since February 2016, but a news release from the Dixon police stated that law enforcement officers found a semi-automatic handgun and 100 grams of cocaine in his Dixon apartment. The court set his bond at $75,000, and he awaits a hearing.

Authorities charged him with drug trafficking and possessing a weapon as a habitual criminal. He had been convicted in 1996 in Cook County for battery with a firearm and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Since his release, law enforcement had encountered him multiple times. He currently faces a charge of resisting arrest in Whiteside County, where he expects to have a jury trial. In Lee County, five cases for traffic violations remain pending against him. In May 2018, he entered a guilty plea for speeding in Bureau County and paid a $500 fine.

The current felony charges against him could send him back to prison for decades. Each cocaine trafficking and weapons charge could produce a sentence between six to 30 years. The cocaine possession charge calls for four to 15 years in prison if convicted.

A person with a criminal record might benefit from the representation of a defense attorney before responding to new charges. An attorney could succeed in reducing charges by evaluating evidence of drug trafficking and questioning whether proof exists that the defendant had an intent to distribute drugs. With legal support, a person could strive to negotiate with a prosecutor and secure a plea deal on reduced charges.