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Chicago men sentenced on drug felonies

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 2:48 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 2:49 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Two Chicago men have entered guilty pleas on related drug charges in Bureau County Court.

Victor Luna-Mercado, 27, pleaded guilty to the Class 4 felony of unlawful possession of cannabis. Armando Torres, 32, pleaded guilty to the Class 2 felony of unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis. Both men entered their guilty pleas on Jan. 24 before Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei.

Luna-Mercado was placed on two years non-reporting probation, ordered to serve two months in the Bureau County Jail and ordered to pay fines, fees and court costs totaling $1,500 from his posted bond. Torres was sentenced to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and ordered to pay fines, fees and court costs totaling $3,000 from his posted bond.

These are the defendants’ first convictions.

Representing the Chicago men in court were Public Defender Michael Henneberry and Assistant Public Defender Eric May. Prosecuting the case was State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann.

On June 11, 2012, the Illinois State Police stopped a vehicle on Interstate 80 in Bureau County. During the traffic stop, a K-9 unit from the LaSalle Police Department alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed about eight pounds of cannabis in bags and also potted cannabis plants in the trunk of the vehicle. Also, the police recovered about one-half pound of cannabis in a backpack in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Luna-Mercado was charged with possession of the cannabis in the backpack. Torres was charged with possession of the cannabis in the trunk.

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