Judge’s Son Convicted of Drug and Weapon Charges

Judge’s Son Convicted of Drug and Weapon Charges IMAGEA retired judge’s son has been found guilty of drug and weapon charges, according to the Chicago Tribune. Francis X. Golniewicz IV, 22, is an admitted gang member, and was convicted in mid-July “of possession of marijuana, felony manufacture and delivery of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of a loaded firearm.” He was first arrested in January 2012 after a group of officers from WEDGE, a task force “made up of a dozen near-west suburban police agencies… served a search warrant at his residence following an investigation.” When they searched his place, police found “62 grams of marijuana and a loaded .32-caliber handgun.” The weed was packaged for individual sale. Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel has hailed the arrest as a success, pointing to the ability of law enforcement agencies to work together. Golniewicz’s “father is a retired Cook County judge,” reports the Tribune.

Arresting people for marijuana possession has long been a debate not only in Chicago but across the country: is it a productive process, that keeps drug dealers out of sensitive areas? Or is it a waste of already-stretched resources? In 2010, according to the Chicago Reader, there were 23,970 marijuana-possession arrests made by the Chicago Police Department, and there’s some speculation that these arrests disproportionately affect the black community. “The ratio of black to white arrests for marijuana possession is 15 to 1,” reports the Reader, “yet studies—and common sense—will tell you that usage rates for blacks and whites are about the same.”

Yet in 2011, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy “made a lot of headlines—and caused a lot of confusion—when he recently told reporters that the department was looking into the possibility of issuing citations to people caught with small amounts of marijuana (rather than hauling them to the station to be booked and possibly jailed),” according to a different article in the Chicago Reader. Many other states have decriminalized marijuana, and last year Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use.

If you or someone you know is facing marijuana charges like Golniewicz, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area criminal defense attorney today.

Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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