Grand jury transcripts will remain redacted in Rockford man’s narcotics, armed violence case

Delano Albert

OREGON – An Ogle County judge ruled Wednesday that grand jury transcripts will remain redacted despite efforts by a Rockford defendant who has asked to see them in their entirety.

And Delano Albert, 35, who is charged with 17 offenses, including narcotics racketeering, delivery of methamphetamine, methamphetamine conspiracy, armed violence and possessing a firearm as a felon, will remain in jail as his case proceeds through the court system.

Albert was indicted in June 2023 by a statewide grand jury for charges prosecutors say happened in January, February, March, April and May in Winnebago and Ogle counties. He also is charged with being an “armed habitual criminal” in a 17-page indictment filed by the Illinois attorney general.

Ogle County Public Defender Michael O’Brien filed a motion in March on Albert’s behalf seeking unredacted versions of those grand jury proceedings. Redaction is the term used to conceal certain text in court documents in an effort to protect witnesses or informants.

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Gansmann, the special prosecutor for the case, argued against the defense request, asking that the testimony remain redacted to protect witnesses and other potential co-defendants.

On Wednesday, Judge John Redington told Albert, O’Brien and Gansmann that he was ruling in favor of Gansmann’s motion.

“I have reviewed both motions and I am granting the state’s motion,” Redington said.

Albert, who has been held in the Ogle County Correctional Center in Oregon since his arrest in October 2023, asked O’Brien to again ask Redington to release him from custody as his case continues through the court system.

Redington denied similar requests in December, January, February, and March.

O’Brien said Albert could wear a electronic monitoring device, if he were released, and had secured a place to stay with his sister, who lives in Rockford.

Under questioning by O’Brien, Albert told Redington that his medical issues were worsening while he is in custody.

Albert, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, said catheters are not being changed frequently enough which has caused him to incur more urinary tract infections. He also said he is not receiving any physical therapy, or orthopedic treatments and has been unable to stand since his incarceration.

“We ask the court to take the totality of the circumstances,” said O’Brien. “Mr. Albert’s health situation is just one factor.”

Gansmann said Albert should not be released because he is a danger to the community. “His medical condition existed before his incarceration.” Gansmann said.

Redington denied the request for release and remanded Albert back to jail. Albert can appeal Redington’s decision within 14 days of the hearing.

Albert’s next court appearance is 1 p.m. May 1.

During a November hearing, Gansmann said 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, Albert 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 also said that when police searched Albert’s residence in Rockford on May 16, they found three loaded handguns and that 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.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

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