Mayor Johnson Appoints Mary Richardson-Lowry as Chicago’s Corporation Counsel

By Robert Lonnegan, The Chicago Times

June 2, 2023

CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson announced on Thursday the appointment of Mary Richardson-Lowry as the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel. Richardson-Lowry will provide legal counsel and representation for the City’s Departments, Boards, and the Chicago City Council.   

“I’m proud to announce Mary Richardson-Lowry as the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel and am grateful for the expertise she brings to this role from her accomplished legal career,” said Mayor Johnson. “I look forward to working closely with Mary in order to advance our administration’s commitments to ethics, accountability, and transparency, and fostering a city government that efficiently delivers for residents and taxpayers.”   

“I’m honored to serve as the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel and look forward to working with the Johnson administration, as well as the City’s many departments, boards, and City Council, to pursue an ethical, equitable city government that is responsible in its use of taxpayer dollars and transparent to the public,” said Richardson-Lowry. “Having begun my career at the City of Chicago’s Law Department, I’m humbled for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”  

According to the City, Richardson-Lowry has an extensive legal background, including serving as a former partner at Mayer Brown LLC, former General Counsel at privately held Ililewa, former Chair of the Chicago Community Trust, former Buildings Commissioner, and various other legal, leadership, and management roles within Chicago.  In addition, Richardson-Lowry also worked as an attorney in the Law Department for the City of Chicago.

Richardson-Lowry holds a juris doctor degree from Texas Southern University and a bachelor’s degree in both International Relations and Speech Communications from San Francisco University.  

Mass Shooting: 1 Dead, 4 Wounded in Chicago

By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

June 2, 2023

CHICAGO – A 14-year-old teen was killed and four others were wounded in a mass shooting in the Fuller Park Neighborhood on Thursday night.

Chicago police said, around 8:20 pm, a group of people started shooting at another group in the 4200 block of South Wells Street.  When officers arrived on scene they reported several people wounded on the street and a male suspect armed with a handgun, who then directed fire at the officers.  The officers then returned fire and were able to take the gunman into custody who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.  At this point it is unclear if the gunman was wounded by police or in the mass shooting.

Police said, a 14-year-old male teen was found with a gunshot wound to the chest and was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.  Two male victims, 18 and 19, were also shot and transported to an area hospital where they are listed in critical condition.  The 18-year-old was wounded in the back, and the 19-year-old was wounded in the chest and leg.  A 16-year-old male teen was wounded in the leg, while a 21-year-old female was wounded in the hand.  Both were transported to an area hospital.  It was also reported that three police officers were taken to an area hospital where they are listed in good condition.

Oswego Man Charged with Leading Police on 110 MPH High-Speed Chase

By T.C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

May 31, 2023

OAK BROOK, IL – An Oswego man has been charged with leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle.

According to prosecutors, on May 29, 2023, around 6:22 pm, Craig Singleton, 43, of the 400 block of Grape Vine Trail, was allegedly driving in a stolen 2019 Jaguar SUV when he was stopped by an Oak Brook police officer at the intersection of Illinois Route 83 and 22nd Street in Oak Brook.  Police said the Jaguar had been reported stolen two hours earlier.

Police said, as the officer approached the vehicle on foot and deployed a stop stick, Singleton allegedly fled westbound on 22nd Street leading the officer on a high speed chase on I-88.  It was reported that the Jaguar had lost a tire during the pursuit.  It is further alleged that Singleton reached speeds of approximately 110 mph on I-88 before coming to a stop at I-88 and Winfield Road where he was taken into custody.

“It is alleged that in an utter display of contempt for the rule of law and complete disregard for public safety, Mr. Singleton led police on a 110-mph high-speed chase in a stolen SUV.” said DuPage County States’ Attorney said in a statement.

Singleton has been charged with one felony count of aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, two felony counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, one felony count of driving while license suspended or revoked 4th -9th Violation and multiple misdemeanor and petty traffic offenses.

Campbell Soup Sells Emerald Nuts to Flagstone Foods

By Ned Fielder, The Chicago Times

May 31, 2023

CAMDEN, NJ – Campbell Soup Company announced Tuesday the sale of their Emerald nuts business to Flagstone Foods.

In 2018, Campbell acquired the Emerald nuts business as part of the Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. acquisition.  According to Campbell, the Emerald business generated net sales of $66 million in fiscal 2022 and $46 million for the nine-month period ended April 30, 2023.  Campbell does not expect the sale to impact its fiscal 2023 financial results. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share by approximately $0.01 in fiscal 2024.

“The sale of the Emerald business is part of our ongoing strategic process to create even greater focus on driving accelerated growth across our Snacks division and power brands.” said Chris Foley, Executive Vice President and President of Campbell Snacks.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

U.S. Treasury Sanctions China–Mexico Based Enablers of Fentanyl Pill Production

By Harold W. Reid, The Chicago Times

May 31, 2023

WASHINGTON – The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday sanctioned 17 individuals and entities involved in the international proliferation of equipment used to produce illicit drugs.

The Treasury Department said these targets are directly or indirectly involved in the sale of pill press machines, die molds, and other equipment used to impress counterfeit trade markings of legitimate pharmaceuticals onto illicitly produced pills that are often laced with fentanyl, frequently destined for US markets.

“Treasury’s sanctions target every stage of the deadly supply chain fueling the surge in fentanyl poisonings and deaths across the country,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl constitute a leading cause of these deaths, devastating thousands of American families each year. We remain committed to using all authorities against enablers of illicit drug production to disrupt this deadly global production and counter the threat posed by these drugs.”

Mechanical pill presses compress powdered substances into tablets of uniform size and weight. The US government regulates pill press machine importation, which also includes the regulation of size and capacity.  According to the Treasury Department, the importation and use of illegal pill presses could lead to inconsistent and lethal dosages.

Even worse, illegal pills laced with fentanyl, may be blank or bear custom impressions to mimic trademarked or scheduled drugs without authorization, such as “M30” for schedule II oxycodone products or “Xanax” for schedule IV alprazolam products.

Photo: Drug Enforcement Agency

The Treasury Department designated Chinese pill press supplier Youli Technology Development Co., Ltd. along with three Youli-affiliated Chinese nationals, Guo Chunyan, Guo Yunnian, and Guo Ruiguang, all located in Huizhou, China.  According to the Treasury Department, Youli allegedly shipped pill press machinery to individuals in the United States involved in the manufacture of counterfeit pills using techniques intended to evade law enforcement scrutiny.  Furthermore, Youli allegedly shipped scheduled pharmaceuticals to the United States for counterfeit pill manufacturing. 

The Treasury Department sanctioned China based Yason General Machinery Co., Yason Electronics Technology Co., and Yason General Machinery Co., Ltd., for their role in the supply of press equipment internationally.  According to the Treasury Department, Yason allegedly sells pill press-related equipment and has worked with a Mexico-based pill equipment supplier and contact who previously provided equipment to a Sinaloa Cartel-linked individual. It is alleged that the contact used the machines to create superlabs in Mexico with the capacity to produce millions of fentanyl-laced pills on a weekly basis.  

The sanctions also include Mexpacking Solutions, of Chihuahua, Mexico, which sells pill presses and other equipment and is allegedly controlled by a Sinaloa Cartel pill press supplier.  It is alleged that Mexpacking has been used as cover for an individual involved with making fentanyl-laced pills and with assisting Mexico-based cartel members with pill press operations.  It is further alleged that goods from Mexpacking were shipped to another pill press equipment supplier involved with coordinating shipments of pill press machines and parts to drug trafficking organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel.

Mexican nationals: Mario Ernesto Martinez Trevizo (Martinez), Cinthia Adriana Rodriguez Almeida (Rodriguez), and Ernesto Alonso Macias Trevizo (Macias) were also sanctioned by the Treasury Department in connection with the above alleged crimes.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned online business Tdpmolds, an entity established and controlled by Zhao Dongdong, a Chinese national located in Yantai, China.  It is alleged that Tdpmolds offers a range of pill press machines and dies for sale, and as recently as 2020, Tdpmolds shipped to the United States several pill press die molds, including ones used to produce counterfeit schedule II oxycodone and amphetamine pill products. 

As a result of Tuesday’s sanctions, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to the Treasury Department.  Furthermore, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. 

Chicago Woman Charged in  2022 Murder of 4-Year-Old Girl

By The Chicago Times Staff

May 27, 2023

CHICAGO – A Chicago woman has been charged in the June 2022 murder of a 4-year-old girl in the Gresham neighborhood.

According to Chicago police, on June 24, 2022,  26-year-old Asha Green, of the 1300 block of W. 82nd St, allegedly caused the fatal injury of a 4-year-old girl in the 7900 block of S. St. Lawrence Ave.

Green was taken into custody near her residence and has been charged with one felony count of first degree murder.

Asha Green. Photo: Chicago police.