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Officials Want Jewelry Heir To Do Time In Illinois

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Ryan LeVin

Ryan LeVin in court for his sentencing in a crash that killed two British businessmen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Credit: CBS Miami)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS) – Chicago area jewelry heir Ryan LeVin was sentenced to house arrest in Florida for a crash that killed two people, and now, Illinois officials want him to spend time behind bars here.

The Illinois Department of Corrections officials are trying to extradite LeVin back to the state. They say he violated his parole when he left Illinois for Florida.

If extradited, officials say LeVin would likely spend less than six months in custody, Department of Corrections chief of staff Cara Smith told the Daily Herald.

LeVin, 36, was sentenced to two years of house arrest and 10 year’ probation last week in connection with a February 2009 crash in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that killed British businessmen Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48.

LeVin was allegedly behind the wheel when his Porsche 911 Turbo jumped the sidewalk and killed the two British businessmen. Police said LeVin and a friend were street-racing at the time.

After the crash, LeVin claimed he was not the one driving the car, and blamed the crash on a friend, Derek Cook, 39, of Tamarac, Fla. Cook pleaded guilty to two felony counts for dumping the car and agreed to testify against LeVin, CBS Miami reported.

The parole issue in Illinois stems from a July 31, 2006, incident.

In that incident, LeVin first ran over a Chicago Police officer who was flagging down motorists at Cortland Street and Pulaski Road for a seat belt check. Police chased LeVin onto the Kennedy Expressway, where he “intentionally” swerved to hit a Chicago Police squad car, police said at the time. LeVin’s car spun out of control and struck two other vehicles on the road as police were in pursuit, police said.

LeVin then attempted to flee the scene by driving onto the grass area between the expressway and train tracks, heading southbound on the expressway, but his plan failed when his car stalled, police said.

LeVin was then arrested and taken to an area hospital. Cocaine was found in his car, police said.

LeVin was charged with seven felonies, including aggravated battery of a police officer and aggravated fleeing from police involving bodily injury.

But LeVin pleaded guilty only to one charge in that case – aggravated fleeing – in November 2007. He was sentenced to 30 months probation and had to enter a substance abuse program, the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

LeVin is the heir to the Jewels by Park Lane fortune, which was founded by his parents. As of 2007 he was the vice president for national sales for the company.

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