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CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a longtime fugitive to nine years in prison for leading what was one of the world's largest heroin networks, extending from Thailand to Chicago.
In imposing a sentence on Musiliu Balogun Thursday, Judge James Holderman said the harm caused by trafficking "has been momentous."
Moments earlier, the 53-year-old from Ogun, Nigeria, bowed to the judge and said in a brief statement, "I sincerely apologize for all the pain I have caused."
Balogun had faced life sentence, but a plea deal following his extradition from Holland this year meant the maximum term was nine years.
Balogun's sentencing highlights a seismic shift in how heroin gets to the U.S. When Balogun trafficked heroin in the `90s, most came from Asia. Now, most comes through Mexico.
CHICAGO (AP) - The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is retiring next year.
Chamber chairman Ray Drake says Douglas Whitley announced his retirement plans at the chamber board's quarterly meeting on Thursday. Whitley has had the position for 12 years and says he will leave the chamber in June. Whitley is 63.
Drake says the chamber's board will embark on a nationwide search to replace Whitley. Drake says Whitley has given the board enough time to find a new president and prepare before next year's election for Illinois governor.
A Police K-9 unit is being credited for catching a suspect who had led police on a 20 mile-long chase.
Around 10 PM Wednesday an officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen from Evansville, Indiana. The officer followed the car through north county along I-270 to west county. The suspect eventually noticed the officer following him and increased his speed.
The suspect eventually abandoned his car in Fenton and tried to run away. A K-9 unit bit the man and subdued him. An officer was also bitten during the struggle and received treatment at a nearby hospital.
Police say the suspect may be connected to a series of car break-ins across St. Louis.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is concerned for the safety of St. Louisans if state lawmakers override one of Governor Jay Nixon's vetoes.
One of the bills they are examining is HB436, the "Second Amendment Preservation Act". The bill would, in part, make it illegal for federal authorities to enforce any federal gun control laws. Local and State police would be responsible for arresting any involved federal agents.
Mayor Slay says overriding the veto would be irresponsible, "this is an insult to police officers and law enforcement statewide. This is anti-cop."
Slay credits local cooperation with ATF agents for a surge that resulted in hundreds of criminals and illegal guns being taken off the street. Under the new law, Slay says those federal agents would have been arrested and the criminals could even file lawsuits against the individual members of the ATF . When asked what passing a bill like this into law would mean for the reputation of St. Louis, Slay did not mince words.
"My biggest concern is what impact it is going to have on law enforcement and public safety. But this would be an embarrassment for our state", Slay said.
Lawmakers meet on September 11 to determine which bills they will take up in an override session.