Round & round & round it goes: Courthouse revolving door keeps spinning in Chicago

The Cook County criminal courthouse has some very busy revolving doors — both literal and figurative. | Google

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Cook County’s court system is churning out some real whoppers this month.

Have you heard about the man charged last week with illegal possession of a defaced handgun while he was on electronic monitoring awaiting trial for possessing a stolen motor vehicle… while he was on bail for allegedly possessing a different gun? (Yes. These can be confusing. We’ll get you up to speed in a second.)

There’s the guy who’s now charged with manufacture-delivery of cocaine… while he was on electronic monitoring awaiting trial for manufacture-delivery of narcotics …while he was on electronic monitoring pending trial for the alleged manufacture-delivery of a third pile of drugs.

How about the man who prosecutors say shot another man five times on Saturday — about two weeks after they dropped a weapons charge against him?

Which one will make you shake your head hardest? Here are the details to help you decide. 

Number one

Justin Spraggins in mugshots from August 2018, March, and Saturday. | CPD

CWBChicago first introduced you to Justin Spraggins in August 2018 after prosecutors charged him with illegally possessing a handgun near the scene of a “shots fired” incident in Uptown. He put down a $500 deposit bond to get out of jail.

In March, we told you that he picked up a new charge of possessing a stolen motor vehicle after police said they caught him driving a hot car in Edgewater.

He put down a $500 bond on the new charge, an additional $7000 bond for the earlier gun charge, and went on electronic monitoring to get out of jail.

With both cases still pending against him, police on Saturday morning arrested 24-year-old Spraggins again. They say he had a defaced handgun in his car and he punched a cop.

A CPD spokesperson said officers pulled Spraggins over because he had no visible registration plates as he drove on the 5000 block of North Winthrop at 3:19 a.m. Then, police reportedly learned during the traffic stop that Spraggins’ had a suspended driver’s license.

As cops tried to take him into custody, Spraggins punched one officer in the face and a struggle ensued, the spokesperson said. Cops said they found ammunition and a handgun with a defaced serial number inside his Jeep during a custodial search.

Prosecutors charged him with felony possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number; aggravated battery to a police officer; possession of ammunition without a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card; two counts of resisting police; failure to have a vehicle registration, driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Judge Charles Beach ordered him held without bail and revoked his bail in the other two pending cases.

Number two

Brandon West in mugshots from 2017, 2018, and last week. | CPD; CCSO

Brandon West is another name that CWBChicago regulars might remember.

In September 2017, we reported that police accused him of having a treasure trove of drugs and contraband after they raided his Streeterville high-rise apartment: 35 pounds of weed and liquid THC worth $158,550; 1.5 pounds of suspected crack cocaine; 72 suspected ecstasy pills; two liters of suspect Codeine; three loaded handguns, $12,162 cash, three scales, and a currency counter.

West, 25, allegedly told police officers during the raid that he was “just an accountant.”

After being charged with a series of Class X felony narcotics counts, West went home on electronic monitoring.

Last November, while he was awaiting trial on the drug charges, cops raided West’s new apartment near the Magnificent Mile. Police said they recovered $257,000 worth of liquid THC; about four pounds of cannabis; 51 grams of cocaine; 400 Xanax pills; five counterfeit $100 bills; a digital scale; a currency counter, and grinding equipment. 

Prosecutors charged him a fresh set of Class X narcotics counts and West went home on electronic monitoring to await trial in both cases.

That went smoothly until Illinois State Police and DuPage County authorities raided his new apartment last Thursday on the Near South Side. Police allegedly found about 48 grams of suspected cocaine inside.

Prosecutors charged West with Class X felony and Class 1 felony manufacture-delivery of cocaine. Judge Beach set bail at $5,000 on the new charges and ordered West held without bail on the two earlier cases, which are still winding their way through the justice system.

Number three

Nelson | CPD

Emergency room workers called police to Mercy Hospital on Saturday evening after 18-year-old Treyveon Nelson walked in with a gunshot wound to his left ankle. The cops arrested Nelson as soon as doctors finished treating him.

A few hours before Nelson showed up at the hospital, prosecutors say, he shot a man five times. The state on Sunday charged Nelson with Class X felony aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. Judge Beach ordered him held without bail.

According to court records, prosecutors last month charged Nelson with unlawful use of a weapon and theft. But the state dropped the case on Oct. 4 — fifteen days before he allegedly shot the other man.

About CWBChicago 6779 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is