Defense receives continuance for Rockford man charged with 17 offenses

Delano Albert

OREGON – A Rockford man charged with 17 offenses – including narcotics racketeering, delivery of methamphetamine, methamphetamine conspiracy, armed violence and possessing a firearm as a felon – will appear in court again in March as his defense attorney seeks transcripts from grand jury proceedings.

Delano Albert, 34, appeared before Judge John Redington on Wednesday through a video conference call from the Ogle County Correctional Center. His attorney, Ogle County Public Defender Michael O’Brien, asked for the continuance.

“There is a large amount of material to get through, and we need more time to do that,” O’Brien told Redington in making his motion to continue the hearing to March.

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Gansmann, the special prosecutor for the case, agreed to the continuance.

Redington set the next court date for 3 p.m. March 6.

Albert was indicted in June by a statewide grand jury on the charges for what prosecutors said happened in January, February, March, April and May in Winnebago and Ogle counties. He also is charged with being an “armed habitual criminal” in the 17-page indictment filed by the Illinois attorney general.

On Wednesday, O’Brien said the defense was trying to obtain grand jury transcripts, which have been sealed.

Albert has been held in the Ogle County Correctional Center since his arrest Oct. 1. On Nov. 30, Redington denied Albert’s request to be released on bond as his case continues through the court system.

At that hearing, Gansmann said Albert should not be released because he is a “real and present danger” to others and the community. He also argued that Albert would be a flight risk if released.

Gansmann told Redington that Albert made “numerous” deliveries of methamphetamine and cocaine to undercover officers or police informants. He said one of the deliveries was in Ogle County.

According to some of the indictments, he possessed between 100 and 400 grams of methamphetamine and between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine.

One of the indictments accuses Albert of being an armed habitual criminal, noting that he possessed a handgun after being convicted of possessing more than 1 but less than 15 grams of cocaine in 2008 in Winnebago County.

Gansmann said that when police searched Albert’s residence in Rockford on May 16, they found three loaded handguns.

He said Albert was a convicted felon, has two previous convictions for armed violence and had a loaded weapon in his bed while police were searching his residence.

He said Albert left the Rockford area after the search was conducted and was found in Minnesota.

O’Brien argued that Albert should be released because of his “ongoing health issues that affect his overall mood.”

He said Albert was in Minnesota visiting family and had not tried to “flee” any potential charges, adding that there was not an outstanding warrant issued for him.

“He poses a real and present threat to persons or the community,” Redington ruled. “And he is a high flight risk.”

O’Brien and Gansmann made the same motions Wednesday, and Redington again denied the motion for pretrial release, ruling that prosecutors had met the criteria for holding Albert.

Albert can appeal Redington’s decision within 14 days of the hearing through the SAFE-T Act, which was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court and allows defendants to be released on no-cash bond.

Under the new law, judges still decide whether a defendant is a flight risk or poses too much of a threat to one person or the community to allow release.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.