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Tuesday, March 10, 2009 — Three people have been arrested since Friday for attempting to bring weapons and drugs into two separate Cook County court facilities in downtown Chicago, according to the Office of Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.

     All three incidents took place at the metal detector entrances. One incident occurred at the Daley Center and two others occurred at 32 W. Randolph where child support enforcement court rooms are located.

     On Monday, shortly after 9 a.m., Ricahrd Andracki, 44, of  8301 S. 88th Ave., Justice,  was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon after placing his cane on the x-ray conveyor belt at 32 W. Randolph and passing through security. As the Sheriff’s Deputy monitored the machine, it revealed a 17-inch long blade secreted inside the cane. The cane was confiscated and the offender arrested.

     On Friday about 9 a.m., Michael Nelson, 51, of 4447 W. Adams, Chicago, was taken into custody after removing his jacket and placing it through the metal detectors at the 32 W. Randolph facility. As the coat passed through the detector, a Deputy identified a semi-automatic handgun inside the coat. When officers retrieved the gun, it was found to have five live rounds inside. Nelson was charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

     On Friday about 4 p.m. at the Daley Center, Timothy Bell, 23, of 643 W. Vermont Ave., Chicago, set off the metal detectors as he passed through. Upon further search by the Sheriff’s Deputy, a cigarette box was recovered from Bell’s waistband with small bags containing 8.7 grams of suspected marijuana found inside. Bell was charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and was also found to have an outstanding, no-bond arrest warrant for failure to appear on a contempt of court charge from McLean County.   

     “Maintaining public safety, especially in such high-traffic public court buildings, is imperative to help ensure the confidence of the many thousands of Cook County citizens who conduct their business with us on a daily basis,” Sheriff Dart said.

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