Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notorious Driver Is Wanted

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notorious Driver Is Wanted

Article excerpt

St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert B. Haida said Wednesday that he will seek another prison term for Ronald A. Chinn, who has a record of nearly 90 traffic, misdemeanor and felony charges and was arrested again for drunken driving in Cahokia last week. But first, police had to find him.

Chinn was wanted on warrants issued Tuesday charging him with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with his license revoked. Both are felonies.

Cahokia police charged Chinn, 33, with driving under the influence, driving with his license revoked, improper lane use and driving too fast for conditions on Camp Jackson Road on Oct. 24. Not knowing he had a felony driving record, police freed Chinn after he posted $300 bail.

Cahokia Police Chief Lawrence Sanderson said the system for checking people stopped for traffic offenses is designed to inform officers if the drivers license has been suspended, if the driver has been stopped in the past year and if the driver is wanted on any charges. Sanderson said that one of his younger officers made the arrest and that a more experienced officer might have recognized Chinn's name.

Chinn was taken off the road, Sanderson said, and allowed to have someone pick him up only after he posted bail. Later, when other members of the department members recalled Chinn's long record, officers were sent to the state's attorney's office to apply for warrants.

On Tuesday, Haida's assistant, Ethan Skaggs, upgraded two of the traffic charges to felonies - aggravated DUI and felony driving with a revoked license.

Associate Judge C. Glenn Stevens set bail at $80,000. Haida said police were looking for Chinn in Illinois and Missouri to serve the warrants.

If Chinn is convicted, each of the two charges is punishable by up to three years in prison. But Haida said that because of Chinn's previous convictions, he would be eligible for six years in prison on each charge.

Cahokia police reported that Chinn gave them an address in St. Peters when they arrested him and that the pickup he was driving was registered in Missouri. But the felony warrants list his old address in Fairview Heights.

In February 1994, Chinn was sentenced to two years in prison by then-Circuit Judge James K. …

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