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Cousins set free after case dismissed
By KELLEY CASINO - Kane County Chronicle
December 23, 2006

(Note: the following three stories are an end to a extraordinary case in which two cousins, Froilan & Juvenal Martinez, were charged with drug offenses in which Kathleen asserted that the defendants were entrapped. In March, 2006, the 2nd District Appellate Court reversed the convictions and ordered a new trial for the Martinez's. On December 23, 2006, the Kane County State's Attorney's Office dismissed all the charges against them. For a special comment from Kathleen, please see the comments page).

ST. CHARLES – Two Aurora men were freed Friday after prosecutors dismissed their drug-possession charges from 2002.

In 2003, a jury convicted cousins Froilan Martinez, 28, and Juvenal Martinez, 30, of possessing cocaine with the intent of delivering it.

Earlier this year, the 2nd District Appellate Court granted the cousins a new trial, based on the fact that the men should have been able to question a confidential informant of the Aurora Police Department.

The men claimed that they were “intimidated and entrapped” by the informant to find a buyer for the cocaine, their attorney Kathleen Colton said.

Colton said the Martinez cousins never touched the cocaine and that prosecutors did not reveal the informant in court before the conviction.

Juvenal Martinez was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Froilan Martinez to 17 years in prison because of an additional armed violence charge, Colton said.

Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Nemura Pencyla said the decision to drop the charges instead of holding a second trial was based on the fact that they were not willing to divulge the identity and location of the police department’s confidential informant.

“What it comes down to is safety and other considerations,” he said. “We are not willing to do that based on the analysis of the case.”

Pencyla added that the conviction was not reversed by the appellate court, but that the Martinez cousins were granted a new trial because of the ruling about the confidential informant.

Froilan and Juvenal Martinez have spent the past four years in jail and prison, Colton said, adding that the men became visibly emotional when she told them that the charges were being dropped and that they would be set free.

“It’s a nice touch that it’s Dec. 22,” she said. “They have tons of family in Aurora.”