Chicagoland: Another alleged felon on electronic monitoring arrested again for weapons and drug charges

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CHICAGO, IL – A man in Chicago, who was on release for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, was released on electronic monitoring in December of 2021.

In January, roughly four weeks later, he was arrested again – this time for weapons and drug charges.

Jorge Aguilar was court-ordered to remain in his residence and wear a GPS monitor after his arrest for being a convicted felon and possessing a firearm.

It seems that his break from bail and opportunity to stay out of trouble while on his electronic monitor did little good when he was arrested again in January.

Officers with the Chicago Police Department received a notification on January 6th from a program called ShotSpotter which is designed to detect gunshots in specific areas and dispatch police before someone calls 911.

As officers got into the area where gunfire was reported by the program, they located a vehicle and Aguilar alleged reclined in the driver’s seat with the engine running.

Officers ordered Aguilar out of the vehicle for safety reasons while investigating the possible shooting that was reported by the program.

When Aguilar exited the vehicle, they allegedly observed a firearm on the driver’s floorboard. A check of the gun showed that it was stolen and loaded.

Chicago Police searched Aguilar’s car and allegedly located a Tupperware container behind the armrest in the backseat, well within his reach. Inside of the container was a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.

In addition to the items found, police allegedly also discovered $3,700 in cash in the glove compartment which is suspected to be from drug transactions.

Officers took Aguilar into custody and charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and possession of a controlled substance.

When the case was presented in front of Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad, instead of releasing him again on a GPS monitor with no bail, the bond was set at $150,000 for his new law violations.

Aguilar’s most recent troubles started in March of 2021 when Chicago police officers observed him allegedly smoking a marijuana cigarette while driving a vehicle on the West Side.

When officers stopped the vehicle, they discovered the marijuana cigarette along with a loaded handgun and a half-gram of suspected methamphetamine.

Officers checked Aguilar’s status and learned that he had been a convicted felon since 2013.

Because he was a convicted felon, police charged him with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and two drug charges for marijuana and methamphetamine.

Instead of keeping him in jail pending a court date or ordering any type of bail, Aguilar was released on GPS monitoring and ordered to stay in his residence pending any further court dates.

For some reason, Cook County prosecutors violated his bond in December and he was brought in front of Cook County Judge Neera Walsh who ordered him to pay $1,500 and go back to electronic monitoring.

This is just one of many reasons why Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown have been requesting Cook County Judges to stop releasing violent and/or armed defendants on electronic monitoring.

Lightfoot alleges the practice makes alleged criminals feel as if there are no consequences for their actions.

Lightfoot believes releasing alleged criminals back onto the street with electronic monitoring or little or no bail causes the citizens in the city to feel unsafe. She said:

“We cannot live in a world where residents of neighborhoods feel like the gangs and the violent, dangerous people have control; where they fear – those residents fear the gangs, and that they think we have lost control. And unfortunately, that is sadly true in too many neighborhoods.”

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Chicago Mayor and Police Superintendent call out violent criminals being released on electronic monitoring

CHICAGO, IL – Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Police Superintendent have publicly spoken out about releasing violent offenders on electronic monitoring.

They believe that some of those offenders go on to commit other violent crimes while on the device.

 

Lighfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown attacked Cook County officials for continuing with the practice of releasing alleged violent offenders back onto the street with a GPS monitor.

Lightfoot noted that 2,300 “violent, dangerous people” had been released after initial court appearances without having to pay bail and placed on electronic monitoring.

Lightfoot noted that these alleged violent offenders are a threat to the community if nothing else because of the crimes they allegedly committed.

Lightfoot said that these people have all been accused of various violent crimes, such as attempted murder, murder, kidnapping, carjacking, and sexual assault.

Lightfoot then noted the number of people who were on electronic monitoring that went on to allegedly reoffend while waiting for their cases to play out in court.

She noted that 133 people, most of whom were wearing GPS anklets, allegedly committed other violent crime.

Because of this, Lightfoot claims the alleged criminals do not believe there are any consequences for their actions which emboldens them to continue criminal activity. She said:

“We are sending a message to them [criminals] they are free to go about their business…and [commit violent crimes] again and again and again.”

Lightfoot then noted an even more alarming fact, that 90 people are currently out on the streets, in the community wearing GPS monitoring that have been accused of murder.

How anyone who is accused of murder be out on the streets free to commit another murder pending their court appearance is baffling.

Lightfoot said, despite her stance on this issue, typically endorses criminal justice reform, especially in the jail system. She said that jails should not be full of people who simply cannot afford bail while awaiting trial, but she does not believe that should apply to those accused of violent crimes.

She said:

“It is mind-blowing when you think about what has happened under the moniker of criminal justice reform. That is not criminal justice reform. What that is, is making our streets more dangerous.”

This mindset supports the fear that citizens and tourists seemingly have when they are in the city. Lightfoot says the fear has made the people in the city believe that their leadership has lost control. She said:

“We cannot live in a world where residents of neighborhoods feel like the gangs and the violent, dangerous people have control; where they fear – those residents fear the gangs, and that they think we have lost control. And unfortunately, that is sadly true in too many neighborhoods.”

 

In addition to demanding that Cook County judges end the practice of releasing violent offenders with electronic monitoring, Lightfoot and Brown are pushing to disrupt the gang cycle in the city. She said:

“In too many neighborhoods, gangs are targeting young boys – young boys with promise, young boys with a whole history an opportunity in front of them. But they’re targeting them with false promises of wealth, an easy life, and a sense of purpose and belonging.”

Lightfoot is pushing for the City Council to work on and pass a proposal named the Victims’ Justice Ordinance to help in their fight of disrupting the gang cycle. The ordinance would provide more opportunities for police to seize cash and other assets from gang members.

In addition to the above ordinance, Lightfoot has pledged to increase the number of officers who are designated to attack the gangs in the city.

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