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Aunt 'Patsy' in Drug Trade

By ROB PHILLIPS, NORTHWEST HERALD - rphillips@nwherald.com

WOODSTOCK – An Island Lake man pleaded guilty Friday to using his aunt, who then was a U.S. Postal Service carrier, to complete a large drug pickup in 2003.

Dan Dean, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana, which police say totaled about 21 pounds. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Beaderstadt said outside court that prosecutors soon planned to dismiss drug charges against the man’s aunt, Patricia Abner, 59, of Lake Villa.

“[Abner] probably wasn’t fully aware of what was in the package and was doing her nephew a favor,” Beaderstadt said. “She was a patsy ... in this whole deal.”

In September 2003, the North Central Narcotics Task Force was notified by U.S. Postal inspectors who discovered that two cardboard boxes contained marijuana. Police said the marijuana was valued at more than $30,000.

The packages, which were sent from Arizona, listed a real address in McHenry and a bogus name.

While Abner was under police surveillance, Abner and Dean exchanged the drugs along her mail route, police have said.

Police have said Abner, who had worked her route for 19 years, should have recognized that the name on the packages did not match the listed address. But she picked them up from the McHenry Post Office and left for her route.

Police arrested Abner and Dean immediately after the delivery.

Dean also agreed to pay more than $20,000 in fines and court costs. Dean, who was free on $10,000 bond, will be given credit for 162 days he spent in the McHenry County Jail.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a more serious drug charge.

Dean will serve his four-year sentence, and a two-year prison sentence for another drug-related conviction in Lake County, at the same time, prosecutors said.

Dean’s attorney, Henry Sugden, said that his client also had other drug-related convictions in his past.

“He admitted his guilt,” Sugden said outside of court. “And with his prior record, it was a fair deal for all parties.”

Beaderstadt said that Abner lost her job with the U.S. Postal Service as a result of the charges, which were the same charges that were filed against Dean. Abner is next expected in court Wednesday.

Abner’s attorney, Jeffrey Altman, said that he would not comment on his client’s case until it was concluded. Abner could not be reached for comment.

Located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, the lawyers at Madsen, Sugden & Gottemoller, Attorneys at Law, represent clients in McHenry County, including the communities of: Crystal Lake, McHenry, Waukegan, Woodstock, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary, Elgin, Dundee, Barrington, Harvard, Marengo, and Johnsburg.

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