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Danielle Enriquez

Other DuPage County Exonerations
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On February 27, 2009, 28-year-old Danielle Enriquez was arrested in her home in Bloomingdale, Illinois after Schaumburg police officer Terrance O’Brien entered with a search warrant and reported finding cocaine in a jacket in a closet.

The affidavit in support of the warrant said that a confidential informant had informed O’Brien that Enriquez was selling cocaine from her residence. Enriquez was accused of four felony charges, including possession of cocaine in a school zone.

Enriquez denied that she ever had cocaine in her residence and contended that O’Brien’s affidavit was false.

Fearful that she would lose custody of her children if she were convicted at trial, Enriquez pled guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance on September 23, 2011, two-and-a-half years after she was arrested. She was sentenced to probation.

In January 2013, O’Brien and two other another Schaumburg police officers, Matthew Hudak and John Cichy, were indicted on corruption charges alleging they stole drugs and money from drug dealers and then funneled the drugs back onto the street. The investigation of the officers began after nine ounces of cocaine were found in a storage shed in nearby Carol Stream, Illinois, another Chicago suburb. That led to an informant who told authorities he was selling cocaine that the officers had supplied to him. All three officers immediately resigned.

Hudak pled guilty and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. O'Brien pled guilty and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Cichy was still awaiting trial in May 2016.

Almost immediately after the O’Brien’s guilty plea, a defense attorney for Enriquez filed a motion to vacate her conviction based on the evidence of O’Brien’s corrupt actions. On February 13, 2013, a DuPage County Circuit Court judge vacated her conviction and the prosecution then dismissed the charge.

In 2013, Enriquez, whose name had been changed to Danielle Williams, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Schaumburg police department. In 2014, the lawsuit was dismissed.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/8/2016
State:Illinois
County:DuPage
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2009
Convicted:2011
Exonerated:2013
Sentence:Probation
Race:Hispanic
Sex:Female
Age at the date of crime:28
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No