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Hosey: Trying to clean up his permanent record
By JOSEPH HOSEY
It must have seemed like a good deal when it was offered but now it's nearly 10 years down the road and Julio Alex Montenegro has been living all that time with the blemish of a weapon-related misdemeanor conviction on his record.
Back in 2008, when he pleaded to the misdemeanor, it got him out of a felony. And considering what the police said they found in his GMC Yukon – a Beretta, a box of bullets, handcuffs, a baton and brass knuckles, not to mention a business card bearing the logo of the Black Pistons motorcycle gang – Montenegro, now 47, looks more than a little lucky to have gotten off with just the misdemeanor.
After all, a pistol, a baton and brass knuckles are more than a couple weapons, but Montenegro slipped through with just misdemeanor unlawful use of a single weapon. And when you take into account the reason the police were poking around in his Yukon in the first place, it appears practically miraculous.
The police said they found Montenegro's cache of weapons – and his Black Pistons business card – after his girlfriend, Donna Ledin, called and claimed he shot out a window of her minivan while she was driving on Interstate 55.
Just like Montenegro, Ledin may have been pretty lucky too. At least luckier than a Montenegro girlfriend who came before her. That girlfriend, Melissa Mitchell, was found stabbed to death in the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve after leaving a Joliet bar on the back of Montenegro's motorcycle in July 2005.