ST. CHARLES — Sixteenth Circuit Judge Grant Wegner in May ruled that drug charges against two Aurora cousins would stand despite their defense attorney's assertion that the Aurora Police Department misused evidence from another case.
However, Wegner on Monday told Kane County prosecutors he will allow defense attorney Kathleen Colton some latitude in exploring theories for the entrapment defense Colton is trying to establish for defendants Froilan and Juvenal Martinez.
The jury trial for both men, who are being tried together on charges of cocaine possession with intent to deliver, started Monday afternoon. The charges are based on their Nov. 12 arrests in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in the 2100 block of West Galena Boulevard.
Colton said police created the crime the men are now charged with, and the cousins were coerced into finding customers for the drugs an undercover Aurora police investigator had to sell. Authorities maintain reverse drug stings are common practice, and nothing was improper about the Martinez case.
Froilan Martinez testified in a previous hearing that he feared what Investigator Alfredo Dean — whom they thought was a drug dealer — might do to them if a buyer were not found. Froilan Martinez was charged additionally with one count of armed violence for allegedly having a gun in his possession.
Several Aurora police officers testified Monday as to how the bust went down.
Undercover officers Rick Rodarte and Dean met twice with Froilan Martinez, 24, and Juvenal Martinez, 27, in the parking lot of the fast-food restaurant on the evening of Nov. 12. Dean and the cousins had been brought together by a police informant.
The arrests were made about 9 p.m., and a shoe box containing $1,680, a kilogram of cocaine and a .38-caliber revolver recovered from Froilan Martinez were collected into evidence, police said. Two other people the men allegedly found to buy the cocaine also were arrested.
The officers testified as to how the cocaine from a 2000 drug bust was used in the Martinez case. Special Operations Group Sgt. Brian Leden said he had to get permission from Lt. Mike Tracy to use the drugs in the new sting, and the drugs had to be accounted for by several different people.
Colton had alleged in a motion that 23.3 grams of the cocaine could not be accounted for, citing records discrepancies between Aurora police evidence logs and state crime lab records. Police officials said all of the cocaine was properly logged.
In Wegner's May ruling, the judge said Colton raised issues more consistent with entrapment than government misconduct.
Wegner said allegations that police removed five kilograms of cocaine from evidence without authorization and then misused the narcotics failed to prove the men had their due process rights violated, and the judge dismissed allegations that some of the narcotics used during the Martinez sting were missing from police evidence.