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United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois

02/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/23/2021 15:26

Federal Indictment Charges Suburban Chicago Man With Trafficking Fentanyl and Illegally Possessing Loaded Guns

CHICAGO - A federal grand jury has indicted a suburban Chicago man for allegedly trafficking fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin, and illegally possessing loaded handguns.

A 12-count indictment returned in federal court in Chicago charges DENNIS GERMAN, 34, of Robbins, Ill., with using the firearms in furtherance of his drug-trafficking activities in 2019 and 2020. The indictment also accuses German of conspiring with two others - NICOLE SCHMIDT, 34, of Midlothian, Ill., and JOHN P. SEIWERT, 40, of Orland Park, Ill. - to traffic cocaine and heroin in Robbins last year. A fourth defendant - MARCUS WASHINGTON, 23, of Markham, Ill. - is charged in the indictment with trafficking cocaine and illegally possessing a loaded handgun in Robbins in 2019.

German, Seiwert, and Washington are in law enforcement custody, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Schmidt. Arraignments for German and Washington are set for March 2, 2021, before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly. Arraignment for Seiwert is set for March 5, 2021, before Judge Kennelly.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Kristen deTineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in Chicago. Substantial assistance was provided by the Midlothian Police Department, Orland Park Police Department, and Dolton Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maureen Merin and Ramon Villalpando.

'Fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine are extremely potent drugs that have wreaked havoc in too many of our communities,' said U.S. Attorney Lausch. 'We will continue to focus our efforts on individuals and groups who traffic these dangerous drugs and prosecute those offenders in federal court.'

'Individuals who possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking activity pose a significant threat to public safety,' said ATF SAC deTineo. 'We will continue to investigate individuals in partnership with the United States Attorney's Office to ensure the safety of the community.'

The charges in the indictment and the maximum sentence for each count are as follows:

  • German: Two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of five years); four counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years); one count of maintaining a residence for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance (20 years); two counts of illegal possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon (ten years); and one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years).
  • Schmidt: One count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years); and one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years).
  • Seiwert: One count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years).
  • Washington: One count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (20 years); and one count of illegal possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon (ten years).

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.