On electronic monitoring for a violent home invasion and kidnapping, he had a loaded gun, ammo, 10 pounds of pot, cocaine worth $14K, and more in his bedroom, prosecutors say

“Electronic Monitoring Appreciation Week” continues at CWB Chicago. Our team has been flooded with so many new stories about people being arrested while on EM lately, we decided to make a week of it. You can see all of our EM Appreciation Week coverage at this link. Here’s the latest:

Juan Rodriguez, 41, is on EM while awaiting trial for a long list of felony charges that stem from a violent home invasion and kidnapping that initially had him held without bail. But a judge allowed him to go home on an ankle monitor a couple of years ago when COVID became a concern at the county jail.

Last week, officials executed a search warrant at his Portage Park home. Inside his bedroom, police found a loaded pistol with a defaced serial number and a laser sight; three 31-round ammunition magazines, two other ammunition magazines, gun parts, bundles of ammunition, $14,625 worth of cocaine, ten pounds of pot worth $72,560, ten grams of hash, 21 MDMA pills, bundles of fake currency and two accounting ledgers, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said he was convicted of gun-related felonies in 2011 and 2017.

Juan Rodriguez and an image from a sheriff’s office electronic monitoring orientation video. | CCSO; CPD

Judge Kelly McCarthy set bail on the new gun and narcotics charges at $900,000, which will require a 10% deposit. She also ordered him held without bail for violating bond terms in the home invasion case.

Those charges originated with an incident at 2:25 a.m. on August 3, 2019. A 55-year-old Belmont Cragin man and his wife heard a knock on their front door. The man peeked outside and saw four or five men and a woman on his front porch.

“Police,” yelled one of the strangers, all of whom wore bulletproof vests emblazoned with the word “POLICE.” One wore a police star on a chain around his neck. Someone on the porch yelled the man’s full name. Thinking something terrible had happened, the man opened his door.

The entire group of strangers then barged in — one intruder in a police vest held a gun to the man’s chest and pushed him into the dining room, where the victim was tied to a chair.

When the man’s 33-year-old wife saw what was happening, she got out of bed and was quickly restrained by some of the home invaders while other offenders scoured the couple’s home while demanding $1 million or a massive trove of cocaine from someone they thought would be there.

But that third person wasn’t home, and the crew took the woman hostage — shoving her into an SUV and driving away. Prosecutors would later say the SUV was registered to Ricardo Rodriguez, who had recently been exonerated of murder. The kidnappers took the woman to a home. Then, they shuffled her to a second location.

The next day, police raided a Portage Park home allegedly connected to the Rodriguez family. Cops found three bulletproof “police” vests in a closet, more vests in a china cabinet, a police badge hanging on a chain necklace, and ten firearms that only shoot blanks, prosecutors said. No one of interest to authorities was home at the time of the raid.

The kidnappers dumped the abducted woman on a street corner in Hermosa that same day.

The next day, police returned to the home upon hearing that the people who lived in the raided apartment were moving out. Cops arrested Juan Rodriguez, who was on parole, at the scene. Prosecutors charged him with 13 counts of Class X felony kidnapping, two counts of Class X armed robbery, eight counts of Class X home invasion, and six other felonies.

Others, including exonerated murderer Ricardo Rodriguez, were subsequently located and charged.

Juan Rodriguez was initially held without bail, but Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer allowed him to go home on electronic monitoring by posting a $7,500 deposit in April 2020 due to concerns about COVID spreading in the county jail.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com