Elgin man gets probation for felony pot arrest prompted by littering complaint

  • Adrian Pesina

    Adrian Pesina

Updated 7/2/2020 2:30 PM

An Elgin man received 18 months of probation this week after pleading guilty to felony marijuana possession.

Adrian Pesina, 36, of the 1800 block of Sheffield Drive, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of marijuana possession in early January 2020 after littering from his car, according to authorities and Kane County court records.


Judge Charles Petersen accepted the guilty plea Wednesday.

Pesina served two days in jail, will be on probation through January 2022 and must pay $3,245 in court fees, which also includes a $2,215 drug fine, court records show.

Pesina was driving a 2002 Ford and was stopped by Kane County sheriff's police around 9:45 p.m. Jan. 6 near Bluff City Boulevard and St. Charles Street in Elgin. A deputy saw the car make a sudden left turn and an item being thrown out the passenger window. Deputies found a large bag with 113 grams of suspected marijuana in the location where the item was tossed, and seized 33 grams of cannabis wax inside Pesina's car, authorities said.

On Jan. 1, marijuana became legal in Illinois for recreational use, but residents may possess only up to 30 grams of the dried flower.

A message left with defense attorney Timothy Mahoney was not returned.

If Pesina violates his probation, he could be resentenced to up to three years in prison.

Pesina served half of a 17-year prison after pleading guilty in September 2008 to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Juan Hernandez, 29, of Elgin, on Sept. 17, 2006.

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Pesina was initially charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide. He was accused of stuffing Hernandez body in a car and abandoning it in Streamwood.

His attorney argued Hernandez was high or intoxicated when he menacingly approached Pesina on the 400 block of Cedar Street in Elgin. Hernandez, a gang member and sex offender, was shot accidentally after a struggle in which he grabbed Pesina's firearm, Pesina's defense attorney Paul De Luca argued at the time, according to court records.

Prosecutors also said Hernandez was "shouting gang words," according to court records.

Two other defendants, both 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to concealment of a homicide. One man was sentenced to three years prison, while the other received 30 months probation.

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