A Lake County traffic stop on the morning of Feb. 19 ended in the arrest of a known gang member for multiple charges related to drug possession and intention to distribute illicit substances. The local gang task force overseen by the Lake County Sheriff's Office was responsible for the arrest of the 22-year-old male. He had already been identified as a potential affiliate of a local gang by the sheriff's office before the arrest.
The initial arrest was made after detectives determined that the man didn't have a valid driver's license. They also discovered that he was in possession of ecstasy and cocaine. The man was then transported to jail immediately to be held on bond awaiting trial for multiple felony charges.
His arrest came with four separate charges related to the two drugs found in his possession. He received charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and the same with intent to deliver for both ecstasy and cocaine. All of these charges are considered felonies in Illinois.
As evidenced by this case, drug charges can stack up quickly against a defendant. By possessing enough of a substance to qualify as intent to distribute, the severity of the criminal charges will effectively double. Carrying these drugs near school zones or other restricted areas could result in even more felony charges.
Defending against drug charges often involves disputing the legality of the search and seizure that lead to the arrest. However, illegal operation of a vehicle by driving without a license or violating traffic laws exposes the person to further investigation by law enforcement. With help from a criminal defense lawyer, a defendant could be better prepared for the actions of prosecutors.