The Law Offices of Kathleen Colton, Ltd.
Criminal Defense / P.O. Box 1364 / St. Charles, IL 60174
On November 14, 2002, cousins Froilan Martinez and Juvenal Martinez were arrested by officers of the Aurora Police Department in an operation orchestrated by the police from beginning to end.
Beginning in the early summer months of 2002, Investigator Alfredo Dean, posing as a drug dealer, used a confidential informant to lure the Martinez’s into finding a buyer for cocaine he purportedly had in his possession. Eventually using four kilograms of cocaine taken from evidence seized in the arrest of real drug dealers in the year 2000, the Martinez’s were intimidated and entrapped into eventually finding two people who would buy the cocaine. The Martinez’s never touched said cocaine, nor did they receive anything except the loss of four years of their lives spent incarcerated.
After a series of pre-trial motions, including a motion to compel the State to reveal the identity of the confidential informant, who had originally introduced the cousins to Dean, a jury convicted them on August 22, 2003. The jury never heard from the informant, who had been paid by the police for the introduction. The defendants asserted an entrapment defense.
On March 29, 2006, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, reversed the Martinez’s convictions, ruling that they were entitled to have the identity and whereabouts of the informant revealed to them in order to present properly their entrapment defense. New trials were ordered, with instructions that the State reveal the identity and whereabouts of the informant so that he could be called as a defense witness. Nevertheless, the State Appellate Prosecutor filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to grant that petition, and the cases were remanded back to the trial court in Kane County. This action on the part of the State resulted in just short of nine months additional incarceration.
On December 22, 2006, the State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against Froilan and Juvenal Martinez, and they were ordered released from the custody of the Sheriff. This action was taken in conjunction with the Aurora Police Department, and was based on the fact that the informant is still working for the police and the Department’s desire that his identity not be revealed.
Entrapment is a legitimate affirmative defense available to persons who are not predisposed to commit crimes but who are lured into illegal activities by the police and their agents. The fact that the Aurora Police Department allowed four kilograms of cocaine which had been taken off of the streets to be used to entrap two landscapers with no criminal records is an egregious abuse of power and serves no legitimate purpose, legally or morally. The fact that it took four years of fighting for justice under the law is a travesty. The Martinez’s did not receive an apology.