A woman charged with a Class X felony for possessing 1.5 kilos of a drug and $37,000 in cash in Lake County was released from jail after prosecutors did not seek her detention.
Halina H. Lipnicka, 52, of Waukegan, was charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
The Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group (LCMEG), a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force that investigates drug trafficking, gun offenses and gang activity, received a tip from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this month.
The DHS reported a package was en route from Peru and had been addressed to Lipnicka, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kelse Banks.
The package contained 1.85 kilograms of DMT, a Schedule One controlled substance.
The package initially came through Miami on September 1 and was delivered on September 21 to Lipnicka, Banks said.
The packaging had Lipnicka’s name, address, email address and phone number.
Officers executed a search warrant on Lipnicka’s residence after the package was delivered, Banks said.
Officers located the package on a counter in the home and the drug was in a bag in a plastic container.
Banks said the drug weighed 1.5 kilograms and tested positive for DMT.
Officers also found over $37,000 in cash that was hidden inside books in Lipnicka’s home.
Lipnicka admitted the package and drugs belonged to her, Banks said.
The prosecutor told Lake County Judge George Pappas that the state’s attorney’s office would not be filing a petition to detain Lipnicka in jail pending her trial.
Because prosecutors did not file a petition to detain, the judge was required to release the woman from custody after her initial court hearing due to the new Pretrial Fairness Act that went into effect this month.
It is unclear why prosecutors did not file a petition against Lipnicka, who is facing a Class X felony charge, which is the most serious felony class in Illinois besides murder.
The state’s attorney’s office later told Lake and McHenry County Scanner they did not file the petition to detain following consultation with LCMEG.
Pappas ordered Lipnicka to turn over her United States and Polish passports as a condition of her release.
The judge also ordered the woman not to possess any weapons or consume any drugs.
Lipnicka is scheduled to appear in court again on October 10 for a status of attorney hearing.