Geneva man, 22, seeks drug court instead of prison on drug charges

Published: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A 22-year-old Geneva man charged with several drug-related felonies has petitioned the court to be allowed to participate in the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court, records show.

Tyler E. White was charged June 10 with felony possession of heroin while at Starbucks, 229 W. State St. in Geneva.

He also was charged with felony obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to hide evidence and misdemeanor possession of a hypodermic syringe and drug paraphernalia.

White had another felony pending against him, as he was charged April 26 with the possession and manufacture of ecstasy pills. 

In July, Kane County Circuit Judge John Barsanti allowed White to go into an addiction treatment facility instead of jail.

“My goal is to save this kid’s life,” White’s attorney Vince Solano said. “I’m putting him in a position that there is hope for this kid. There is a process here. Drug court is not something to get without everybody being on board. The state’s attorney and the police have to agree.”

Drug court allows nonviolent drug offenders to have their charges held in abeyance while they complete rehabilitation, pay their fines, get frequent drug tests and have weekly court dates. 

The heroin-related felony charges against White carry a penalty of one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 each.

The misdemeanors have a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The felony charge of possession of ecstasy is punishable by four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

The charge of manufacturing or delivering ecstasy is punishable by six to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

Solano said heroin addiction among teens and young adults in the Fox Valley is something not seen 20 years ago.

“We know where these kids end up – dead or in prison,” Solano said. “Kids out there need help more than the punishment. ... Bottom line, if we are going to make him [White] a member of society, our chance is now to swing it and get him into drug court. It’s long-term, highly intensive and ... if he completes the program, we have all succeeded, including himself.”

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Jan Schlictmann at a Geneva law firm.

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