Following an investigation for narcotics and firearm offenses, members of two gangs in Chicago face the most serious type of felony charge in Illinois: A Class X felony.
The investigation, called “Operation Full Circle”, resulted in the seizure of dozens of firearms, large amounts of several controlled substances, and more than $1.3 million in cash and jewelry believed to have been purchased with illegal drug trafficking money.
“Operation Full Circle” Ends in a 24-Person Bust
The operation was lead by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the Chicago High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA). These task forces are made up of a network of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that focus on high-profile drug crimes.
Officers from these task forces targeted allegedly high-level members of two gangs from the West Side of Chicago, the Wicked Town faction of the Traveling Vice Lords and the Black P-Stone Nation.
Twenty-four members of the two gangs face federal charges, including weapons, drug, and money laundering charges.
Because many of the crimes involve possession of large quantities narcotics with the intent to traffic, they may be classified as a Class X felonies under the Illinois Controlled Substance Act.
Understanding the Different Types of Felonies in Illinois
In Illinois, a Class X felony is considered the most serious type of felonies. Our state recognizes five classes of felonies — Class X, 1, 2, 3, and 4 — addition to first-degree murder. We’ve listed the penalties associated with different felonies below.
Class 4 Felonies
The least serious type of felony, a Class 4 felony is punishable by 1 – 3 years incarceration, or 3 – 6 years for extended term sentences. Examples of Class 4 felonies in Illinois include identity theft, selling up to $300 worth of stolen goods online, or the unauthorized possession of a blank or altered prescription form.
Class 3 Felonies
The second least serious type of felony, a Class 3 felony is punishable by 2 – 5 years incarceration, or 5 – 10 years for extended term sentences. Examples of Class 3 felonies in Illinois include aggravated battery, theft, and possession of fewer than five grams of meth.
Class 2 Felonies
The third least serious type of felony, a Class 2 felony is punishable by 3 – 7 years incarceration, or 7 – 14 years for extended term sentences. Examples of Class 2 felonies in Illinois include aggravated domestic battery, robbery, and unlawful purchase of a firearm.
Class 1 Felonies
The second most serious type of felony, a Class 1 felony is punishable by 4 – 15 years incarceration, or 15 – 30 years for extended term sentences. Examples of Class 1 felonies include burglary of a residence, criminal sexual assault, and second-degree murder
Class X Felonies
The most serious type of felony, a Class X felony is punishable by 6 – 30 years incarceration, or 30 – 60 years for extended term sentences. We’ll discuss common examples of Class X felonies in the next section.
Before that, note first-degree murder is its own class of felony and carries between 20 to 100 years for extended term sentences. If certain aggravating factors exist, first-degree murder could be punished by life imprisonment or the death sentence.
Understanding Class X Felonies in Illinois
As the most severe type of felony in our state, Class X felonies come with consequences beyond incarceration. A Class X felony conviction comes with a mandatory supervised release period of three years or more after you complete your sentence.
Additionally, you cannot be sentenced to probation or released on a conditional discharge if you are convicted of this type of crime.
So what types of criminal activity constitute a Class X Felony? We’ve listed the most common offenses that can be charged as Class X felonies below.
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated arson
- Aggravated battery with a firearm
- Aggravated battery of a child
- Aggravated vehicular hijacking
- Armed robbery
- Aggravated criminal sexual assault
- Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (over 17 years of age and victim under 13 years old)
- Armed robbery
- Possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
Regardless of the alleged crime, a Class X felony charge can be tricky to beat and have devastating consequences.
About the Author:
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.