Chicago Judge Releases Suspect Caught With Millions In Cocaine

Terrence Slaughter, a 55-year-old man, was embroiled in legal troubles again on October 24, a date carrying significant historical weight. This was the same date, 16 years earlier when a federal judge had sentenced him to a substantial prison term of 15.67 years for his involvement in a serious crime – stealing firearms from a retired police officer and subsequently selling them to known gang members. The echo of his past seemed to resurface as he was apprehended at Chicago Midway International Airport, this time for an entirely different offense.

The circumstances leading to his recent arrest unfolded when Chicago police, acting on suspicion, approached Slaughter at Midway Airport. It was shortly before 2 p.m. on a Tuesday, and Slaughter consented to a search of his two roller bags. What the police discovered was alarming: they uncovered 12 vacuum-sealed bags filled with suspected cocaine in one bag and another 11 sealed bags in the second. These documents were later attached to the criminal complaint filed against him.

The total haul of the suspected cocaine was staggering – 62 pounds, with an estimated street value of over $3.5 million, specifically $3,518,125. This discovery led to Slaughter being charged with Class X manufacture-delivery of cocaine, a serious offense that typically warrants pre-trial detention. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the prosecutors did not request Judge David Kelly to detain Slaughter before his trial. Consequently, Judge Kelly released him, albeit with stringent conditions: Slaughter was instructed to remain in Illinois, show up for all his court appearances, and, importantly, steer clear of Midway Airport.

The date of October 24 holds a peculiar significance in Slaughter’s life. Not only was it the date of his recent arrest, but it also marked the 16th anniversary of a previous central turning point – his sentencing on October 24, 2007. This earlier sentencing stemmed from an incident in May 2003, when law enforcement officers observed Slaughter exiting the home of a retired Illinois State Police sergeant in North Riverside, carrying two rifles.

Further investigation led to the discovery of eight additional firearms in his car. According to federal court filings, Slaughter eventually confessed to stealing a total of 33 to 38 guns from the sergeant’s residence, some of which he admitted to selling to known gang members.

This confession and subsequent guilty plea to two federal gun charges, without the benefit of a plea deal, resulted in a federal judge sentencing him to consecutive terms – 120 months for one count and an additional 68 months for the second count, the maximum penalty within the advisory range.

This pattern of Slaughter’s life, marked by significant legal entanglements on the same calendar date, presents a compelling narrative of repeated run-ins with the law, each with profound implications.