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Heroin, pot trafficking suspects appear in court

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 19th, 2013

Crime news

EVANSTON — On Feb. 13, Rachelle Bell of Florida was arraigned in Third District Court on one charge of delivery of heroin, one charge of intent to deliver and one charge of conspiracy to deliver. The crimes were alleged to have occurred between Dec. 1, 2012 and Jan. 18, 2013 in Evanston. Bell pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

There was a motion to consolidate the case with charges against Michael Hart. A pretrial date was set for May 15, with a trial to follow June 4.

Michael Hart of Florida was arraigned on the same charges as Bell. Hart also pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

It is alleged Hart and Bell sold heroin through the back window of a motel room on Harrison Blvd. between Dec. 1, 2012, and Jan. 18, 2013. The Department of Criminal Investigation used controlled buys and confidential informants in the two cases, according to the court.

A pretrial was set for May 15 with a trial to follow on June 4 at 9 a.m.

Michael Howard of Anaheim, Calif., appeared in court on a motion to suppress evidence in connection with the state case against him alleging he transported 33 pounds of marijuana in a rental car on I-80.

The suppression hearing centered on whether or not the warrantless search of the rental vehicle was proper and lawful. State trooper Derek Parks testified Howard was overly nervous and shaking, and also that Howard’s travel pattern was unusual.

It was alleged Howard drove the rental vehicle from Milwaukee, Wisc., to Las Vegas, Nev., and was driving back to Milwaukee at the time of his arrest. A K-9 trooper named Basil was used during the search.

The motion to suppress was denied. A change of plea and sentencing was postponed in the case.

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