There is often more than one angle to a single criminal incident, and, of course, there are many sides to every story. However, it is likely not as common that a kidnapping victim may lead police to make a discovery of a large amount of drugs. Such a scenario did happen, however, in Chicago earlier this month. The kidnapping victim in that case, now faces charges for felony crimes.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police officers found 33-year-old Margarito Raygoza, also known by the name Jose Corona, in the West Lawn neighborhood of Chicago on an early morning in the first week of September. Mr. Raygoza was bound, and had allegedly been kidnapped and beaten after he had walked near 64th Street and Pulaski Avenue.
After police discovered Mr. Raygoza, they went to his home in the 3800 block of West 63rd Street. At the home, police discovered an incredible amount of drugs. It is unclear from reports how the police discovered the drugs, but when they determined that they had, in fact, discovered narcotics, they obtained a search warrant for the rest of Mr. Raygoza’s home.
During the search, police found 170 pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, two pounds of heroin and over half a pound of meth. They also found $47,500 in cash, and seized three cars and two handguns. Perhaps not coincidentally, Mr. Raygoza’s neighbors told police officers that they had seen two men running away from Mr. Raygoza’s home in the morning.
Mr. Raygoza was ultimately charged with possession of 900 grams of heroin, possession of over 900 grams of cocaine, possession of 100 to 400 grams of methamphetamine and possession of over 5000 grams of marijuana. According to UPI.com, Mr. Raygoza was also wanted by the federal government, in connection with a federal narcotics investigation. His case is now pending.
Drug crimes are seriously prosecuted in Illinois, and a possession conviction can lead to serious jail time, fines, penalties, and a criminal record. The University of Chicago’s Common Sense website resource provides an-easy-to read table for a basic understanding of criminal fines and penalties for possession charges. Taking into account Mr. Raygoza’s charges, possession of over 900 grams of cocaine or heroin are both Class 1 felonies punishable by between 10 to 50 years in prison, and either a fine of the greater of the street value of the cocaine or heroin or $200,000; possession of 5,000 grams or more of marijuana is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; and meth is a schedule II drug and possession of meth is a Class 1 felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Of course there are additional factors that may increase or decrease the length of a sentence and the amount of the fine. These numbers are estimates only.
Illinois drug possession laws are complex, and the consequences beyond jail time or penalties are difficult to understand. If you have been charged with possession of drugs under Illinois law, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you and can defend your case in court. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.