Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Means

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

February 14, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
STACEY MEANS, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 13 CR 18213 Honorable Thaddeus L. Wilson, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE MASON delivered the judgment of the court with opinion. Presiding Justice Hyman and Justice Pierce concurred in the judgment and opinion

          OPINION

          MASON JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Following a bench trial, defendant Stacey Means was found guilty of the Class 2 felony of delivery of less than one gram of heroin. Means was sentenced to an extended term of nine years' imprisonment and two years of mandatory supervised release. On appeal, Means maintains that his sentence is excessive in light of the nature of the offense, his nonviolent criminal background, his history of substance abuse, and the financial impact of his incarceration on taxpayers. Means also contends that the $2,000 controlled substance fine assessed against him should have been $1,000 because he was convicted of a Class 2, not a Class 1 felony. We affirm Means' sentence and order the clerk of the circuit court of Cook County to correct the order assessing fines, fees, and costs to reflect a $1,000 controlled substance fine.

         ¶ 2 Means was charged with one count of delivery of less than one gram of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school (720 ILCS 570/407(b)(2), 401(d) (West 2012)) and one count of delivery of less than one gram of heroin (720 ILCS 570/401(d) (West 2012)). The state dismissed the charge involving delivery within 1,000 feet of a school before trial.

         ¶ 3 On August 27, 2013, Chicago police officer Nester DeJesus was assigned to the narcotics division as a "buy officer." He was dressed in plain clothes and drove an unmarked vehicle in the in the vicinity of 701 N. Trumbull in Chicago. When he engaged a group of males at that location and inquired about trying to purchase heroin, Means responded and told him to pull over. Once Officer DeJesus exited the vehicle, Means handed him two ziplock bags with suspect heroin. Officer DeJesus gave Means $20 worth of prerecorded 1505 funds and then returned to the vehicle. After driving away from the area, Officer DeJesus informed his team about the narcotics transaction over police radio, indicated Means's last known location, and described his attire. After the enforcement officers detained Means, Officer DeJesus returned to the area and identified Means as the individual with whom he had engaged in the hand-to-hand transaction approximately five minutes earlier. Officer DeJesus maintained custody of the ziplock bags Means gave him until he inventoried them. The prerecorded funds were not recovered from Means. Surveillance and enforcement officers corroborated officer DeJesus's testimony.

         ¶ 4 The parties stipulated that the ziplock bags inventoried by Officer DeJesus contained 0.5 grams of heroin and that the proper chain of custody was maintained at all times.

         ¶ 5 The trial court found Means guilty of delivery of less than one gram of heroin. Means' motion for a new trial was denied.

         ¶ 6 The extended sentencing range for the Class 2 felony of delivery of less than one gram of heroin where the defendant has been convicted of the same or similar class felony within the previous 10 years is 7 to 14 years. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-35(a), 5-5-3.2(b)(1) (West 2012). At sentencing, the State argued in aggravation that Means's criminal history included five prior drug-related convictions. Specifically, in 2008, Means received two years' probation for possession of a controlled substance (PCS). In 2010, Means was sentenced to one year in the Illinois Department of Corrections for PCS, and later that year, he was sentenced in a separate case to two years' probation for a Class 2 drug-related felony. In 2011, Means was again found guilty of PCS and received a sentence of 17 months' imprisonment. In 2012, another PCS conviction resulted in a sentence of three years' imprisonment. In light of Means's history of repeated drug-related offenses, the State recommended a seven-year sentence.

         ¶ 7 In mitigation, defense counsel argued that Means was the father of two children and that he was worried about being involved in a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) proceeding. Means hoped to get out of prison as soon as possible in order to provide for his children. Although the presentence investigation report (PSI) indicated that Means was affiliated with the Traveling Vice Lords street gang, defense counsel reported that Means denied membership in the gang and asked the court not to consider that part of the PSI. Counsel represented that Means had been taking GED classes around the time of his arrest, and he was looking forward to obtaining his GED. During his incarceration, Means completed programs conducted through the Cook County Department of Corrections, such as janitorial cleaning and chemical training classes. In the PSI, Means denied having any problems with illegal drugs and reported participating in drug treatment on two separate occasions while incarcerated.

         ¶ 8 In allocution, Means stated that he felt as though he was not guilty, and he was still trying to change his life in light of his "background and everything." Although he intended to get his GED, he said, "things happen." Means acknowledged his "history of being in trouble" and stated that he was learning from his mistakes. To that end, he was working to focus on his education while in prison. Means told the court he was really trying to get back to his two young children because he was "going through DCFS with them" and he did not want them to grow up as he did, without a father around to set an example. Neither Means nor his counsel provided specifics about any DCFS proceedings.

         ¶ 9 Prior to announcing sentence, the trial court stated:

"For purposes of sentencing the court has considered the evidence at trial, the gravity of the offense, the Presentence Investigation Report, the financial impact of incarceration, all evidence, information, and testimony in aggravation and mitigation, any substance abuse issues and treatment, the potential for rehabilitation, the possibility of sentencing alternatives, the statement of the defendant, and all hearsay presented and deemed relevant and reliable."

         ¶ 10 The trial court then sentenced Means to an extended term of nine years' imprisonment and two ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.