A 42-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for trying to buy two kilograms of cocaine from undercover Elgin police officers in March 2010.
Jorge Tejeda, of the 300 block of North Crystal Street, Elgin, faced between 15 and 60 years in prison after his conviction in June 2010 for possession of more than 900 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver.
Kane County prosecutors argued Tejeda sought to buy two kilograms of cocaine, but didn't have enough money for it. Tejeda proposed trading six kilograms of poor quality cocaine, along with $40,000, for the two kilograms of higher quality cocaine so he could sell it to someone in New York.
Tejeda's sentencing was delayed numerous times as he argued for a new trial and claimed his defense attorney was ineffective.
On Wednesday, Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland asked Judge David Akemann to impose an 18-year sentence.
"The defendant was clearly arranging to purchase two kilos of cocaine for purposes of resale," she said.
Assistant Public Defender Julia Yetter argued Tejeda has no previous criminal history, is college educated, has two children and was in danger of losing his home because of financial troubles.
"This was the motivation that facilitated Mr. Tejeda's involvement," Yetter said.
Tejeda, who has been held at the Kane County jail since his arrest, professed his faith and willingness to be a better person. "I've got two kids. They're all suffering all this time," Tejeda told Akemann.
Because Tejeda was convicted of possession with intent to deliver more than 900 grams of cocaine, it triggered mandatory sentencing without the possibility of probation.
He gets credit for 38 months in jail, but also must serve 75 percent of his sentence instead of the customary 50 percent for drug offenses involving lesser amounts.
Prosecutors also want Tejeda to forfeit $40,700 he brought to the drug deal. A hearing on that is scheduled on June 28 before Akemann.