Remember the guy charged with a misdemeanor for having 26 catalytic converters in his car? His luck ran out this week.

Darrian Russell | CPD

Darrian Russell’s good luck streak came to an abrupt end this week.

You may remember Russell, 36, from our recent reporting. He’s the guy who allegedly had 26 sawed-off catalytic converters in the back of his vehicle in late December ‚— three weeks after he was arrested for stealing a catalytic converter in Edgewater.

Prosecutors charged him with misdemeanors both times, and he pleaded guilty in exchange for a two-day sentence in the earlier matter.

Russell’s luck ran out Monday when parole officers showed up to inspect his West Side home, according to prosecutors. He has been on parole since June for driving on a suspended license with more than four previous convictions.

Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said officers found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with a laser sight attached inside Russell’s kitchen cabinets as Russell sat on a nearby countertop. Authorities arrested him on the spot.

Russell, who has eight previous felony convictions, including one for being a felon in possession of a firearm, is now charged with Class X felony armed habitual criminal charges. The Illinois Department of Corrections is also moving to revoke his parole. His attorney argued that he is not the only person who lives in the home, although he was reportedly the only one there when parole agents conducted their inspection.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail at IDOC’s request. She set bail on the new allegations at $25,000 with electronic monitoring. She added $1,000 bail for violating the terms of bond in the case involving 26 catalytic converters.

Stolen catalytic converters are usually sold to unscrupulous scrapyards that value the small amounts of precious metals inside the pollution-control devices.

In November, police said a concealed carry holder who interrupted a catalytic converter theft in progress on the 2900 block of North Wolcott in West Lakeview returned fire after two thieves opened fire on him.

One of the thieves, Darion Blackman, 25, died. The other gunman and a third accomplice escaped. Blackman was killed two months after being released on bail for illegal gun possession.

While the concealed carry holder has been cleared of wrongdoing, homicide investigators continue to pursue the thieves who got away, according to a law enforcement source.

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About CWBChicago 6770 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