Days after I-Team report, home monitoring fugitive busted at car wash

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Career criminal Jovany Galicia may have been trying to clean up his act by working at a Chicago car wash, but for the 26-year-old fugitive it was an ill-fated job choice.

While working at a South Side car wash, Galicia was violating his bond by not wearing an electronic monitor bracelet required under the terms of his Cook County bond.

Five days after the ABC7 I-Team featured Galicia in a TV investigation-as one of more than 300 criminal defendants AWOL from the county's ankle bracelet bond program-a tipster reported his whereabouts and sheriff's deputies swooped in to arrest him at the car wash.

On Tuesday the beefy, now-former fugitive appeared before Cook County Judge James Obbish, who ordered him held without bond. The convicted felon with a long rap sheet was on bond while awaiting trial on gun and assault charges.

Even though he was described as an "armed habitual criminal" on county records, Galicia was relegated to the home monitoring program wearing an electronic bracelet that alerts authorities if he leaves a prescribed area-or removes the device.

He was arrested Saturday at Sal's Car Wash at 1313 S. Pulaski in Chicago.

As the I-Team uncovered last week, there currently are more than 300 defendants missing from Cook County's electronic monitoring program. That data is included in a spreadsheet we obtained through a Freedom of Information request. Nearly 50 percent of those currently confined to ankle bracelets are charged with either gun violations or violent crimes.

"We prioritize those AWOL offenders as best we can with the resources we have. It's certainly a challenge and the challenge has gotten much greater since bond reform," said Cara Smith, chief policy officer for the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

In 2017, through an order by Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans, judges were explicitly required to set affordable bond amounts for defendants who do not pose a danger to the public.

"It's a balancing act between public safety and the rights of the accused," said Pat Milhizer, director of communications for Chief Judge Evans.

"In recent years certain elected officials have been calling to get individuals who were locked up in Cook County Jail out of jail while they await trial. It's an admirable goal. But the devil is in the details. Who are you really letting out?" said former Cook County prosecutor Robert Milan.

"We're seeing more violent offenders with violent criminal histories ordered to the program," said Smith.

Lately, the jail population has lingered around 5,700 prisoners - the fewest amount of inmates ever locked up at Cook County. Another 2,100 accused criminals are currently in the home electronic monitoring program.
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