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Project Safe Neighborhoods: Kankakee County Man Charged with Firearms, Drug Offenses

April 1, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, announced that a federal grand jury today returned a five-count indictment charging Jaleel Abdul Lafi III, also known as “Dooly,” 27, of St. Anne, Illinois, with drug trafficking and firearms offenses. Lafi is charged with three counts of distribution of five grams or more of crack cocaine; one count of distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; and possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense.

The indictment alleges Lafi distributed five or more grams of crack cocaine on three occasions in Kankakee county Illinois: on or about November 7, 2007; November 15, 2007; and February 4, 2008. The indictment further alleges that on or about March 21, 2008, Lafi distributed 50 grams or more of crack cocaine while carrying a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

If convicted, each offense of distribution of five or more grams of crack cocaine carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years to 40 years in prison. Distribution of 50 grams or more of crack carries a mandatory minimum 10 years to life imprisonment. If convicted of carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, the penalty is a mandatory minimum five years in prison to life which must be served consecutive to any prison term ordered for the underlying drug trafficking offense.

Lafi was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on March 21, 2008. A detention hearing and arraignment are currently scheduled for April 2, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal in Urbana.

The charges are the result of a cooperative Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (KAMEG.) The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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