ITeam

Drug dealer walks away from federal building in not-so-daring escape; Ignacio Torres escapes Dirksen Federal Building by walking out front door

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A dangerous drug dealer walked out of the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago and the mistake has law enforcement agencies here searching for the fugitive and pointing fingers at each other.

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He is dangerous. He pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking and he was supposed to report to prison next month.

Instead, Ignacio Torres Jr. pulled off a not-so-daring escape from the Dirksen Federal Building by walking out the front door. Nobody stopped Torres or chased him as he ran down Dearborn Street, the I-Team has learned, because nobody had notified the U.S. Marshal Service in enough time that he had been ordered into custody.

Thursday night, the 32-year-old Torres is wanted by the U.S. Marshals, although it wasn't the Marshal Service that let him walk out of the federal building last week.

Torres had pleaded guilty last summer to cocaine charges but was free on $200,000 bond. The convicted drug dealer from Logan Square was appearing before Judge Harry Leinenweber last week on a government motion to revoke his bond.

Prosecutors said Torres had threatened a witness against him, calling him/her a "snitch" and then throwing rocks at the witness, threatening to kill the person.

In court, Judge Leinenweber ordered bond revoked and told Torres to surrender that afternoon to the U.S. Marshal Service.

It is customary for the judge or U.S. Attorney to notify the Marshal Service in that type of situation but it wasn't done last week with Torres.

There was no courtroom security at the time and Torres left down the public elevator and never returned.

The I-Team has been told that security cameras show Torres walking out the door and then running down the street. By the time the Marshal Service was notified, Torres was gone. He didn't return to surrender and hasn't been seen since.

Some federal insiders say the judge dropped the ball by not notifying the U.S. Marshal Service, or ordering the drug dealer into immediate custody instead of allowing him to voluntarily surrender a few hours later.

Others say the U.S. Attorney's office should have notified the Marshal Service, which sometimes occurs. But no one is pointing a finger at the U.S. Marshal Service on this one. They weren't even informed until it was too late.

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