On August 8, 1996, Ruben Locke was indicted along with 15 others on charges of smuggling heroin into the United States from Germany.
The case originated in Germany when Locke and two business partners were stopped by Germany authorities. The two business partners were arrested on charges of smuggling narcotics. When they returned to the U.S., they were among the larger group indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago.
One of Locke’s associates pleaded guilty and testified against Locke in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Locke was convicted of conspiracy to import heroin on July 9, 1998. On April 7, 1999, while awaiting sentencing, Locke filed a motion for a new trial, alleging that the prosecution had failed to disclose statements in which the alleged ringleader of the smuggling operation had said Locke was not part of the organization.
Prosecutors contended that the statement had been made when the ringleader pleaded guilty in open court and therefore had not been withheld.
On July 7, 1999, U.S. District Judge Ann Williams granted Locked a new trial, ruling that it was unreasonable for defense attorneys to attend plea hearings or obtain transcripts of the cases of all co-defendants.
On May 25, 2000, the charges were dismissed on the motion of the prosecution.
– Maurice Possley