Monday hearing continued in Urbana drug offense case


By Nick Walton - nwalton@civitasmedia.com



Long


Whitt


A hearing for a man arrested after the Urbana Police Division served a drug-related search warrant in February was continued until next week.

John P. Long, 28, appeared in court Monday for a final pretrial conference. During the hearing, Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi informed the court that no resolution had been reached in the case but noted the state and defense have continued to discuss a potential resolution.

Talebi said he was optimistic that a resolution could be reached at a second final pretrial conference. The hearing was continued to April 18.

Long was indicted in March following a raid conducted on Feb. 25 at 986 Terry Lane.

On that date, officers served the warrant at the apartment of Long and Heidi Long, recovering evidence of heroin, Suboxone, various prescription pills, marijuana and various drug paraphernalia.

Mr. Long was indicted last month on two counts each of possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs with a specification for forfeiture of a cell phone in a drug case and one count each of possession of heroin, possession of dangerous drugs, possessing drug abuse instruments, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, illegal use or possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia, possessing criminal tools with a specification for forfeiture of a cell phone in a drug case and endangering children.

Ms. Long was indicted last month on two counts of possession of drugs and one count each of possession of heroin, possession of dangerous drugs, possessing drug abuse instruments, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, illegal use or possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia and endangering children.

A final pretrial conference in her case is scheduled for April 20.

Man pleads not guilty to thefts

A man accused of stealing items from almost 20 people pleaded not guilty to charges Friday.

Jeffery A. Whitt, 29, is charged with six counts of aggravated possession of drugs, two counts each of having weapons while under disability, theft of drugs, possession of drugs, violating a protection order and one count each of theft and grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance.

The theft charges stem from alleged conduct March 19-20. Urbana police spent most of March 20 investigating complaints of overnight thefts from cars from the northwestern portion of the city.

At each scene, police recovered blood evidence as they thought the suspect possibly had been cut while stealing from the first vehicle and continued to bleed during the other crimes, leaving blood DNA at each scene.

They responded to a disturbance at the 68 Motel, 856 N. Main St., on that afternoon.

When officers went there to investigate they found that Whitt had rented a room for himself as well as three other people staying with him, in conflict with the rental agreement. One of the other people told officers that Whitt had just left the room prior to their arrival.

Inside the room, officers observed fresh blood in various places and learned that Whitt was bleeding. They also observed items listed as stolen from the car theft cases laying out in the room.

Whitt was taken into custody at gunpoint in the alleyway between the 200 block of East Church and Ward streets after a chase with Urbana police.

The grand jury indictment contends Whitt stole from 18 people. The indictment also states stolen items included GPS units, a handgun, money and prescription medications.

Whitt’s bond was established at $50,000 last week and a case scheduling conference is scheduled for April 14.

Long
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2016/04/web1_JLong.jpgLong

Whitt
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2016/04/web1_Whitt.jpgWhitt

By Nick Walton

nwalton@civitasmedia.com

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.