TEEN CHARGED WITH SOLICITING MURDER OF CRIME WITNESS
Wednesday, February 16, 2011— A Chicago teenager arrested for burglarizing a south suburban home just four weeks ago now faces much more serious charges after he sought to have a witness to that burglary killed, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday.
Juan Vanga, 17, of the 10000 block of South Avenue L, is charged with solicitation of murder for hire, a class X felony – the most serious class offense in the state of Illinois. He appeared in bond court Wednesday, where bond was set at $300,000. He was already being held on $30,000 bond for the burglary charge.
Vanga was charged as a result of an investigation carried out by the Cook County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Unit, a team of officers that investigates all crimes and gang activities inside the Cook County Jail.
Vanga has been housed in a minimum/medium-security jail building since his Jan. 14 arrest for a burglary in Calumet City. Last week, investigators learned he was actively looking for someone to kill a witness to that burglary. Vanga talked on the phone and in person with someone he thought was a hit man, though the person was really an undercover officer. Vanga told the officer he was willing to pay $1,500 to have the witness killed. After the officer agreed to carry out the hit, they talked on the phone and the officer cautioned that the potential victim was regularly with another person. That’s when Vanga told the officer he didn’t care who else was hurt, but he wanted the hit carried out over the weekend.
Because of the new charge, Vanga will be upgraded to maximum security status while awaiting trial. He will only be able to leave the jail if he posts $33,000 – 10 percent of both bonds.
Vanga’s next court date is set for March 9 at 26th-California.