Bigly: Man charged with having 55 pounds of pot outside Trump Tower

A California man is facing felony charges after Chicago police allegedly found him in possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana outside Trump Tower last month.

Police said they saw 30-year-old Imanol Martinez engaged in “behaviors and actions consistent with narcotics activity” outside the tower’s Wabash entrance around 2:30 p.m. on Mar. 25. So, they struck up a conversation.

Imanol Martinez | CPD

Martinez was carrying so much pot, police said, they could smell it emanating from a duffle bag that he carried on his shoulder. When officers asked Martinez about the unique smell, he allegedly said he was carrying “CBD.”

He gave cops permission to inspect the bag, which police said contained a heat-sealed bag that contained slightly more than a pound of suspected cannabis worth $8,000.

But the big score came after Martinez allegedly gave police permission to search a nearby parked car.

That’s where officers say they found another 51 heat-sealed bags of pot weighing 54 pounds. Retail value, according to court records? $394,944.

Prosecutors charged Martinez with felony possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis and felony possession of more than 500 grams of cannabis. Judge Charles Beach released him on a recognizance bond. 

COVID party crashed

A late-night party in a River North luxury high-rise came to a quick conclusion after residents from across the neighborhood reported hearing explosions around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

Police search the River North apartment. | Steven Dahlman

One resident identified the source of the problem for police: Party-goers in a unit at 505 North State Street were throwing large fireworks off of a balcony, they said. Helpfully, the party apartment had distinctive blue Christmas lights in the window, the caller said.

Police identified the apartment and dispersed a large number of party-goers who were allegedly in violation of the Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 executive orders.

After the crowd was cleared out, “officers discovered a backpack containing suspect narcotics and money which was taken for inventory,” a police spokesperson said. Cops were not immediately able to determine who owned the cash and narcotics, so no were immediately made. A police spokesperson declined to say how much money and drugs were allegedly recovered.

The fireworks were powerful enough to generate 911 calls from people as far away as Kinzie and Wells streets, according to police dispatch records. One caller said the explosions appeared to be similar to police “flash-bang” devices.

“I really thought a bomb had gone off,” one River North resident told CWBChicago. “Big, loud explosion.”

Detectives are continuing to investigate the narcotics stash.

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About CWBChicago 6713 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