DIXON – A Sterling man with a history of gang ties – and who is facing six pending felony charges – was arrested Thursday at an apartment in Dixon on a Whiteside County warrant.
Justin M. Villegas, who turns 23 on Tuesday, was in Lee County Jail on $500,000 bond for failure to appear in three of four cases in which he is charged. He will be transferred to Whiteside County.
According to Whiteside County Court records, the warrant was issued May 29 after Villegas failed to appear at several hearings involving his unresolved felony cases: a 2012 case involving criminal damage to property costing more than $300 but less than $10,000; two 2011 cases, one for aggravated battery and the other for being a felon in possession of a weapon and in possession of a weapon with a defaced serial number; and one filed in April in which he is charged with aggravated battery and mob action.
Villegas, whom police have said is a gang member, had not yet been arrested in the April case, and no further information was available Thursday night.
His first felony conviction came in 2008, when he was convicted of two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one of obstructing justice and was sentenced to a year in prison; records show.