Crime & Courts

Trial starts for Harvard man's drug charges

WOODSTOCK – Prosecutors presented stacks of drug evidence from a Harvard man's home, while his defense attorneys have suggested that he may not have ties to the house where cocaine and marijuana was recovered.

The trial for Cesar G. Rojas-Figueroa began Tuesday after he previously waived his right to a jury trial.

The 28-year-old is accused of possessing, with the intent to deliver, more than 100 grams, but less than 400 grams of cocaine. For that alleged crime, he could be sentenced to between nine to 40 years in prison. Rojas-Figueroa also faces another six to 30 years on an armed habitual criminal charge. He faces additional lesser charges for allegedly possessing marijuana.

Police uncovered cocaine and marijuana after responding to his 409 Prairie St. home for a domestic incident involving his one-time live-in girlfriend. He and Brenda Valles were celebrating Rojas-Figueroa's birthday on Sept. 7, 2013, and returned home drunk when an altercation ensued.

Valles testified Tuesday that Rojas-Figueroa pushed her and choked her. For that, he is also charged with domestic battery.

The woman later showed detectives who responded to the incident a TEC-9 gun. Rojas-Figueroa has prior arrests for aggravated discharged of a firearm. She also led them to a room in the basement where they collected drugs, a scale and other evidence.

Defense attorneys for Rojas-Figueroa asked officers why they didn't fingerprint any of the evidence they collected. Officers also didn't assign a date to Valles' written statement.

Attorney Donna Rotunno also pointed out that Rojas-Figueroa was arrested not at the Prairie Street home, but at his parents across town. Evidence collected at the scene, including a checkbook, listed his parents address.

The couple had lived at the Prairie Street home since July, Valles said.

The trial before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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