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North Chicago Man Gets 57-Month Sentence In Drug Case

LOWELL, Ind. (STMW) -- A North Chicago man caught during a traffic stop near Lowell with almost 1.5 kilograms of crystal meth will spend just less than six years in prison, a sentence that reflects coming changes to how some drug cases are handled.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon granted the request by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Lanter to sentence Alejandro Murillo, a Mexican national who lives in North Chicago, to 57 months in prison.

Current federal sentencing guidelines called for Murillo, who pleaded guilty in January to one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, to serve 70 to 87 months in prison.

However, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has proposed lower sentencing ranges for drug offenders who meet certain qualifications

The government's agreement with Murillo means that he cannot ask for his sentence to be cut even more once the rule change goes into effect.

Defense attorney Brian Woodward also had asked for an additional six months to be cut, arguing that his client likely will be deported anyway.

Simon denied the additional reduction, however.

"This is a very serious offense," Simon said. "We have a lot of methamphetamine in this case."

Murillo was arrested in November after a police officer pulled his white BMW over for speeding on Interstate 65 near Lowell. A police dog searched the car and discovered the drugs in three packages hidden under the hood of the car.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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