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DeKalb man pleads guilty to charge from 2010 drug bust

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – A 31-year-old DeKalb man is making his third trip to prison after pleading guilty Monday to dealing cocaine in 2010.

Jimmy Rabelo, of the 400 block of West Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, was set to go to trial Monday on charges connected to three alleged drug deals in 2010. Instead, he accepted a plea agreement on one of the charges, court records show. He admitted to selling less than a gram of cocaine within 1,000 feet of Northern Illinois University in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, court records show.

If convicted of the most serious charge he originally faced, Rabelo could have been sentenced to life in prison because of his two prior convictions. He previously was sentenced to 8 years in prison for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and to six years in prison for armed robbery in 1999.

Rabelo was among a dozen people arrested in December 2010 as part of what police said was a five-month investigation into DeKalb’s drug market.

He will receive credit for the 760 days he spent in the county jail while the case was pending. That, along with good-behavior and other credits, means he likely will serve about two years in prison before being eligible for work release, defense attorney Liam Dixon said.

Rabelo had concerns about the credibility of a confidential informant who bought the cocaine, but accepted the plea agreement largely because of the reduced sentence, Dixon said.

He also forfeited all items seized by police and will serve two years of parole when he’s released from prison, court records show.

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