Chicago Man Free From Prison For 9 Months Because Paperwork Wasn’t Filed

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CHICAGO – A Chicago man sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for dealing heroin that killed a person was mistakenly released from prison because of an apparent paperwork mix-up.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports ( ) that 33-year-old Walter Redawn Dixon (pictured) was handed that sentence by a judge in Iowa. But before he could begin serving it, Dixon was set free in December from the Stateville Correctional Center in suburban Joliet, where he was completing a sentence for an unrelated Cook County offense.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says Dixon was not transferred to federal custody because the department never received a detainer order.

Here is more from the Chicago Sun-Times:

It wasn’t clear just where Dixon was located in the district or what he’s been doing with his time, but Ken Robinson, supervisor for Prisoner Operations for the Marshals Service, said deputies nabbed Dixon after getting a call last week from their counterparts in Iowa who’d only just learned of the felon’s mistaken release.

Dixon’s criminal history is complicated. He was mistakenly released Dec. 14, 2012 — not from federal prison — but from Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, where he was finishing up a sentence in an unrelated Cook County case before beginning his federal prison term.

“He didn’t go back to federal [custody] because we didn’t receive a detainer order,” Shaer. “I don’t know who is responsible for that. All I know is, we didn’t get it.”

Robinson says the federal detainer — an order to hold a prisoner — was filed with the Cook County sheriff’s office, the agency that had custody of Dixon before he was sent to Joliet.

“The detainer was filed with Cook County,” Robinson insisted Friday. “When [Dixon] was moved to the Illinois Department of Corrections, they say they never received the detainer from Cook County. … They never knew to call us.”

Cara Smith, chief of policy and communications for the sheriff’s office, disputes that.

“We have every reason to believe that information was passed on with the body when he was sent to the state Department of Corrections,” said Smith, noting she’d personally reviewed Dixon’s file.

Smith also said it’s odd that someone facing a 16-year federal term would be returned to Cook County in this case, to deal with an aggravated DUI case stemming from Dixon’s arrest in January, 2012 in Chicago.

Ken Robinson of the Marshals Service says deputies arrested Dixon after receiving a call last week from Iowa authorities who had just learned of the mistaken release.

He was arrested Friday without incident.

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