A former Joliet Catholic Academy student pleaded guilty Monday to selling crack cocaine to undercover police officers in an investigation that netted 14 teens, including 8 pupils at the school.
David M. Caiafa, 18, of the 500 block of Northfield Drive faces up to 60 years in prison or as few as six years, if Will County Judge Daniel Rozak accepts the prosecution's sentencing recommendation. Rozak is scheduled to sentence Caiafa on July 25.
The charges stemmed from Operation After-School Special, a Joliet police probe focusing on the sale of cocaine and Ecstasy that initially targeted students at the Catholic school.
Caiafa told Rozak he continued to pursue his high school diploma after he was expelled from Joliet Catholic.
Caiafa said he takes anti-depressants and some medications, but Rozak determined the prescription drugs would not affect Caiafa's ability to understand the charges against him.
Caiafa pleaded guilty to selling, or helping to sell, one to four grams of cocaine on four dates in early 2006. Two of the charges cited the sales' proximity to a school. But Assistant State's Atty. Chris Regis amended them to eliminate reference to the location.
Outside the courtroom, defense attorney Frank Andreano said the change in charges, which eased the sentencing guidelines, made the plea bargain possible.
Regis said Caiafa's chances of entering the county's drug court treatment program are "less than zero."
Caiafa is the third teen to plead guilty to drug charges in connection with the investigation.
Last month, Benjamin J. Dilday, 18, of Joliet pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. He is awaiting sentencing. In March, Alexander Bulanda, 19, of Shorewood pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 4 years.