The allegations a prosecutor presented against Kelvin Smith during a bond hearing on Sunday were not unlike hundreds of other cases that have come through the same courtroom this year.
Police were patrolling an area known for narcotics activity, and they saw a hand-to-hand transaction that led them to conduct a street stop.
But Smith’s hearing took a turn when the prosecutor revealed that the known narcotics trafficking area was not a troubled street corner in a violence-ripped neighborhood. It was on Lake Street, less than a block from Michigan Avenue in the Loop. Two blocks from Trump Tower.
There were more surprises to come.
Officers approached Smith, 31, after they saw him complete a suspected drug deal on the first block of East Lake Street, between Wabash and Michigan, around 10 p.m. Sunday, prosecutors said.
He ran. They chased him. He ditched his jacket and turned down a dead end alley. They caught him.
Smith was wearing a bulletproof vest, prosecutors said. A loaded mini-AK47 pistol was inside the jacket he discarded and he was carrying $766 cash and about six ounces of pot, they said.
Prosecutors charged him with two Class X felonies, the most-serious category other than murder: armed habitual criminal and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon with body armor. They also charged him with manufacture-delivery of cannabis and being a felon in possession of a weapon.
Assistant Public Defender Carolyn Howard said Smith is unemployed and he donates food and clothing to the homeless.
Judge Charles Beach set his bail at $100,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts a 10% deposit bond. Beach held him separately in lieu of $35,000 on a pending matter in the suburbs.
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