Chicago man arrested for felonies 3 times in 10 days

A Chicago man managed to get arrested and charged with felonies three times in just ten days this month, thanks to Illinois’ new cashless bail system.

Damien Velez, 23, is currently in Cook County jail, but court records show he is eligible for release as soon as electronic monitoring arrangements are made.

His arrest streak began just before 9 p.m. on November 10, when Chicago cops pulled him over for having suspended plates on his Toyota Camry, according to his arrest report. Police said they found 56 baggies containing suspected heroin and 28 baggies containing suspected crack cocaine near his front passenger seat.

Court records indicate he was released from the police station after being charged with two felony narcotics charges.

From left: Damien Velez is seen in mugshots from his arrests on November 10, November 15, and November 20, 2023. | Chicago Police Department

Chicago cops arrested him again around 9:30 p.m. on November 15 in the 800 block of North St. Louis. Prosecutors said CPD surveillance officers saw people offering him money in exchange for “small items consistent with narcotics packaging” that he kept in his waistband.

Police allegedly found six baggies containing suspected heroin and 21 baggies of suspected crack in his waistband, along with $942 cash in small bills, according to the arrest report.

In court the next day, prosecutors charged him with three drug-related felonies, including Class X manufacture-delivery of cocaine near a church.

Judge David Kelly released him in both the new case and the November 10 case.

In court four days later, prosecutors asked Judge Robert Kuzas to revoke Velez’s pretrial release in the November 10 case because he picked up a new felony charge. Kuzas rejected the request, according to court records.

Velez walked out of court and got arrested again later that day.

Once again, he was in the 800 block of North St. Louis around 9:30 p.m. when surveillance officers saw him stuff a “softball-sized” object “consistent with narcotics packaging” into his waistband, the arrest report said.

Inside the object, police allegedly found 41 bags of suspected heroin and 67 bags of suspected crack, according to the report. They said he was carrying $704 cash in small bills.

Prosecutors charged him with two more narcotics-related felonies.

On November 11, he appeared before Judge David Kelly for the third time this month. Kelly released him on the new charge but detained him until Judge Kuzas could see him again the next day.

According to court records, prosecutors asked Kuzas to detain Velez for violating pretrial release conditions in the November 15 case. The judge rejected that idea and ordered Velez to be sent home on electronic monitoring instead.

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