Downtown bartender acquitted of two felony drug charges

Bill Catching


A Kane County jury deliberated an hour before acquitting the bartender of a downtown Aurora bar of two felony drug charges earlier this week.

Beverly K. Bugbee, 47, of the 900 block of Sheffer Road, Aurora, was acquitted of one count each of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and permitting unlawful use of a building.

Bugbee works at Web, 134 W. Downer Place, one of three downtown bars raided last year.

A March 27, 1992, sweep resulted in the arrest of 14 people on 27 counts of felony drug charges, police said. The six-week investigation was conducted by Aurora police officers and members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF).

In this week's trial, a NCNTF agent testified that Bugbee held money for a cocaine dealer. Bugbee's attorneys admitted that she took the money from the agent, but had no knowledge of the drug deal.

In the other criminal count, prosecutors failed to prove Bugbee allowed the bar to be used to deliver narcotics, said her attorney, David Camic. Bugbee was defended by Camic and Marvin Bloom.

Despite her acquittal this week, Bugbee still faces sentencing on charges from an unrelated case.

In an earlier jury trial, she was found guilty of unlawful possession of codeine. When arrested Bugbee had several pills without a prescription. She is scheduled to be sentenced on that charge by Judge Barry Puklin on November 19.

In other recent felony cases:

- Shane B. Lopez, 18, of the 1800 block of Lilac Lane, Aurora, pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Lopez, a gang member, was accused of possessing a stolen 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera last November.

The sentence was the result of a plea bargain. Prosecutors dropped several felony charges in exchange for his guilty plea.

The judge also recommended Lopez for the state's impact incarceration program, better known as boot camp. If Lopez is accepted and successfully completes the 120-day program, he will serve the rest of his sentence on parole.

- Jessie J. Lesure Jr., 30, of the 1100 block of Bonner Avenue, pleaded guilty to unlawful cocaine possession and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Lesure, a gang member, was arrested July 28 outside a known drug house in the 100 block of North Loucks Street, Aurora police said. Officers searched the suspect and found a fraction of an ounce of cocaine, police said.

Lesure had two previous felony drug convictions, according to court records.

The sentence was the result of a plea bargain. Prosecutors dropped several felony charges in exchange for his guilty plea.