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In her Chicago Sun-Times column, Mary Mitchell asks if an alleged drug dealer from Chicago's West Side should be treated any differently than one from the suburbs. She says of course not, but that is what seems to be happening, and the disparity must stop.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I couldn’t care less about what happens to drug dealers.

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After all, the illicit drug trade has turned quiet neighborhoods into hellholes.

But should an alleged drug dealer from Chicago’s West Side be treated any differently than an alleged drug dealer from DuPage County?

Of course not.

But that appears to be the case with respect to two drug cases involving a troubled apartment complex in Carol Stream.

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Last July, prosecutors charged Malcolm Brown, a 23-year-old black man from the West Side of Chicago, with supplying the heroin that killed 38-year-old Stephen Briston.

Brown allegedly sold the heroin to Richard Brown (no relation). Richard Brown is the person who found the overdose victim. He is also the “confidential informant” who fingered Malcolm Brown, according to sources familiar with this case.

Apparently, in an attempt to save his own hide, Richard Brown ordered up more drugs from his supplier.

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When Malcolm Brown arrived at the Holiday Inn to drop off the drugs, police officers arrested him.

Police allegedly found 38 packets of heroin “marked with a black spade” that matched other packets found in the apartment where the drug user died.

Robert Berlin, DuPage County State’s Attorney, declined to discuss this case on Monday. A spokesman for that office cited confidentiality concerns.

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Despite Richard Brown’s personal involvement in the events that led up to Briston’s death, he was charged only with possession.

Meanwhile, bond for Malcolm Brown was set at $5 million. He is still locked up in a DuPage County jail cell. His next hearing is Feb. 21.

Read Mary Mitchell's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.