Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 13 CR 3697
Honorable Michael B. McHale, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion,
Presiding Justice Gordon and Justice Reyes concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant Tino Terrell was convicted of possession of a
controlled substance following a bench trial and sentenced to
15 years' imprisonment. This is a direct appeal from the
judgment of the trial court.
3 Terrell was charged with eleven counts of unlawful
possession of a weapon by a felon, two counts of possession
with intent to deliver a controlled substance, one count of
possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, and one count
of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
4 At trial, Officer Robert Gallas testified that on January
17, 2013, he was assigned to a gang unit tasked with
executing a search warrant at 6809 South Laflin Street, a two
bedroom 1st floor apartment in Chicago, Illinois (Apartment).
At approximately 9 p.m., his unit entered the apartment. The
apartment door was barricaded with a "scissor gate"
with a large padlock. While police attempted to open the
door, the lessee of the premises, later discovered to be
Edward McDaniel, came to the door. Because McDaniel would not
promptly open the door, and the padlock was too large to be
cut with large bolt cutters, the team used a "Chicago
bar" and sledge hammer to pull the gate from its hinges
and enter the apartment. Upon entering, Officer Gallas noted
that the rear door was barricaded with two-by-fours.
5 Officer Dan Pacelli testified that he was also assigned to
the team executing the search warrant. He testified that he
searched the dining room and front living room area of the
apartment. While conducting his search, Officer Pacelli found
two prescription bottles with Terrell's name on them in
the living room. The trial court noted that the address on
the pill bottles differed from the Apartment. One of the
bottles had a "use by" date of August 24, 2013, and
the date August 24, 2012, was also written on the bottle. The
other bottle had a date of issuance of May 23, 2012. One of
the bottles still contained pills, while the other was empty.
Pacelli also recovered an adult probation card in the living
room near the prescription bottles that bore Terrell's
name. Terrell's passport was found in the same area as
the bottles and the card.
6 Officer Pacelli also recovered two duffle bags from atop
the dining room china cabinet. The bags contained clothing
that appeared to fit a male larger than himself. Pacelli
described himself as six feet one inches tall and weighing
250 pounds. The court noted that Terrell was larger in size
than Officer Pacelli and was wearing a 4XL tan department of
corrections uniform. Officer Pacelli also noted that Edward
McDaniel was of smaller proportions, approximately six feet
tall and 160-165 pounds.
7 Officer Michael O'Connor testified that he was also a
part of the search warrant team on January 17, 2013. He
stated that there were paintings and photos all over the
front living room and that he recovered a framed photograph
that included Terrell.
8 Officer Gus Bedoy testified that he searched the whole
house and found nothing in the bathroom, kitchen, or either
bedroom demonstrating that Terrell lived in the Apartment.
Bedoy also testified that he searched the hallway closet and
discovered clothing. He stated that while searching a hallway
closet, he noticed U-shaped scratches on the side of each
wall. He noted that part of the panel on the wall was loose
which led him to look inside. He found metal tracks inside
the wall and uncovered a large, clear, plastic bag which he
suspected contained cannabis. He noted that the hidden
compartment, commonly referred to as a trap, was three feet
wide, three feet high, and approximately two feet deep. Its
composition consisted of two-by-fours, metal rails, a
battery, power motor, and plastic bands. The trap contained
United States currency, digital scales, mixing containers,
and mixing agents.
9 Later, Officer Ciocci discovered multiple firearms in the
trap, and the parties stipulated that the weapons recovered
consisted of the following guns: a .45 caliber, a loaded 9mm
Ruger, a loaded 9mm Berretta, a .357 caliber, a .765 caliber,
a loaded 9mm CPX1, and a 9mm Taurus. Also recovered were
eight boxes of ammunition.
10 During the search, FBI Special Agent Christopher
Weismantel went out to his car and observed a red pickup
truck parked behind him. His car was parked almost directly
in front of the Apartment, and agent Weismantel had been
previously informed that the pickup truck might belong to
Terrell. After noticing Terrell sitting in the driver's
seat of the pickup, Weismantel approached him, engaged him in
conversation, and asked him to come inside the Apartment,
where Terrell was ultimately arrested. Officer Gallas
searched Terrell and testified that he could not recall
finding any drugs on him or anything indicating that Terrell
lived at the Apartment.
10 Sergeant Michael Karczewski read Terrell his
Miranda rights at the Apartment, and later, at the
police station, Terrell gave the police signed written
consent to search the pickup truck. Officer Bedoy testified
that, while searching Terrell's vehicle, he discovered a
trap hidden behind the radio compartment. He testified that
the trap resembled the one found inside Apartment's
hallway closet. Specifically, he noted that the motorized
bands and insulation in the two traps were similar in
composition and nature; however, he also stated that he could