Deportation for Baking Soda: Or Why Possession of Cocaine Can Really Screw You

I had a client the other day have his drug case get dismissed. The reason? His labs came up clean, he had purchased $40 worth of baking soda, instead of cocaine.

However, as noted earlier on this blog ICE is watching all felony arrests at Cook County Jail. My client had applied for asylum many years ago and been denied, and presumably had received notification that he was to be deported. Of course, he ignored it. Now, he’s being kept without bond at Cook County Jail on an immigration hold, and in the next few days, we’ll see if ICE picks him up and sends him packing.

NOTE! Cocaine has NO misdemeanor possession amount. Check 570/402(c) of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or just take my word for it. It should be noted that less than half a gram is SOMETIMES thrown out by Cook County judges, namely because a police officer would usually lack probable cause to search you for it, but generally for the more practical reason that it’s just not enough to get all worked up about. Cocaine possession is never a misdemeanor, although luckily, judges in Cook County generally treat possession of less than 5 grams as if it were.

My client was arrested for what was thought to be cocaine. Tests proved it wasn’t. But he got caught up in the dragnet of our new War on Immigrants and he’s probably leaving the country. I know a lot of people wouldn’t be too upset about it. However, I find that a lot of my (illegal) Hispanic clients aren’t too worked about this. These people have family, friends, jobs, their whole lives here. If they’re deported…I feel like they look at it as an inconvenience…but they’ll be back.


2 responses to “Deportation for Baking Soda: Or Why Possession of Cocaine Can Really Screw You

  1. Pingback: Gun Possession Cases in Illinois - The Chicago Scourge « 26th St. Bar Association

  2. Pingback: Cocaine and Baking Soda - What’s the Difference? « 26th St. Bar Association

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