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updated: 2/16/2014 3:50 PM

Kane County prosecutors ready for March 18 primary

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The March 18 primary election is a little more than a month away and the Kane County state's attorney's office is prepared.

The office will have a special phone line -- (630) 208-5328 -- available from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day to field complaints of possible illegal election activity, such as electioneering, improper placement of campaign signs, or denial of voting rights.

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State's Attorney Joe McMahon also will have his assistants available to travel to polling places.

"Voters have a right to expect an honest, fair and orderly election, and we are committed to meeting their expectations," McMahon said.

The hotline is not for election questions, such as polling places and times.

Voters seeking that information should call the Kane County Clerk's Election Help Line at (630) 232-5990.

The winners March 18 will advance to the Nov. 4 general election.

Probation on heroin charge: A 20-year-old from Carpentersville who'd already spent 114 days in jail recently was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $3,015 in fines and court costs after pleading guilty to heroin possession.

Sandy G. Kinsey, of the 6500 block of Marble Lane, could be resentenced to up to seven years in prison if she violates probation.

She initially was charged with selling between 1 gram and 15 grams of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school, church or park, a felony that carries a sentence of between six and 30 years in prison with no chance of probation.

But crime lab tests after Kinsey's October arrest showed the amount of heroin she had was less than 1 gram, thus triggering a lesser charge. Authorities frequently weigh a drug and its packaging when making an initial arrest.

"It was less than a tenth of a gram," said Assistant State's Attorney Scott Schwertley. "It's an incredibly small number."

Defense attorney Bruce Steinberg said he is hopeful Kinsey will complete the terms of her probation, which includes drug testing and counseling. He characterized the amount of heroin she was caught with as "pretty close to residue" and questioned if a person could even get high off it.

Steinberg also was critical of law enforcement's use of confidential informants to bust low level users, such as Kinsey. The "reliable informants'" tips rarely, if ever, result in the arrest of a "big fish" dealer, he said.

"Sandy Kinsey, she was like krill in all this," Steinberg said. "Sandy Kinsey was just a tiny little cog in a big wheel that keeps grinding."

Kane County Judge Karen Simpson accepted the guilty plea on the reduced charges earlier this month.

Kinsey did not have any previous arrests in Kane County until last fall.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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