Pubdate: Sat, 29 Jan 2005
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2005 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Charles Keeshan, Daily Herald Staff Writer


Narcotics agents used unreliable information from a chronic drug user to 
help bring charges against a Huntley family accused of running a 
clandestine methamphetamine lab out of their home, the family's attorney 
claims in court papers filed Friday.

Because of that, the lawyer for Kenneth S., Janice A., Nicholas R. and Eric 
M. Larsen says, a judge should throw out the search warrant agents used to 
raid the family's residence in October and discover what authorities claim 
is evidence of a drug making and selling operation.

"Chronic methamphetamine abusers exhibit symptoms that cause anxiety, 
confusion and insomnia along with auditory hallucinations, mood 
disturbances and delusional, homicidal and suicidal thoughts," defense 
attorney Edward Villadonga states. "Based on the allegations of a known 
drug addict, who very well could exhibit one or more of the abuse 
symptoms," he said, police obtained the warrant.

Villadonga, who declined further comment on his request, also claims police 
failed to take into consideration the fact Kenneth Larsen works as a 
flooring installer and some of the materials found in his home are used in 
his trade.

If the request succeeds, authorities likely would have no choice but to 
dismiss the charges against the family.

Assistant McHenry County State's Attorney Anne Brophy, the county's lead 
drug prosecutor, was not available for comment Friday.

Court documents indicate agents of the North Central Narcotics Task Force 
used the informant's statements, along with internal Huntley police 
records, to obtain the warrant to search the Larsens' home Oct. 21. Those 
police records included complaints of ongoing drug dealing out of the 
Larsen home, police said.

In a subsequent raid, agents discovered chemicals used to manufacture 
methamphetamine, along with small amounts of the drug and marijuana inside 
the residence at 11770 Blue Bayou Drive, authorities said.

As a result, the Larsens - Kenneth, 46, Janice, 45, Nicholas, 19 and Eric, 
17 - each face four felony drug charges, the most serious carrying prison 
sentences of up to seven years.

In an affidavit attached to the search warrant, an informant identified 
only as Jane Doe states she bought methamphetamine about 20 times from 
Kenneth Larsen and had been inside the Larsen residence more than 100 
times. On at least one occasion, she states, she observed methamphetamine 
being made inside the home.

Judge Sharon Prather gave prosecutors three weeks to respond to the defense 
motion. Once the response is filed, the judge will schedule a hearing on 
the request.

The Larsens are free on bonds ranging from $80,000 to $100,000.
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