NORTH CENTRAL NARCOTICS TASK FORCE

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North Aurora Man gets 44 Years on Drug Charges

December 9, 2011, Kane County Chronicle

By Staff Writer

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A North Aurora man has agreed to a lengthy prison term in exchange for a guilty plea to possessing a large amount of narcotics he planned to sell, according to a news release issued by the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

Michael E. McGregor, 42, on Friday agreed with the Kane County State’s Attorney to a sentence of 44 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for a guilty plea to one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Associate Judge Allen M. Anderson accepted the plea.

At about 8 a.m. Jan. 11, officers assigned to the North Central Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at McGregor’s residence in the 100 block of North Lincolnway, North Aurora. The subsequent search of the premises revealed more than 200 grams of cocaine, marijuana, more than $13,000 in cash, electronic scales and materials to package drugs. Three children were in the residence.

McGregor admitted to authorities that the narcotics and cash were his and that he packed the drugs at his residence for the purpose of selling them. During the hearing, Judge Anderson heard about McGregor’s lengthy criminal past, which includes four narcotics-related convictions between 1995 and 2002 in Kane, Kendall and DuPage counties, and a 1987 burglary conviction in Kane County.

According to Illinois law, McGregor is eligible for day-to-day sentencing. He was given credit for at least 332 days served in the Kane County jail. The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Tom St. Jules.

 


Police: St. Charles Couple had 2 Pounds of Marijuana

Daily Herald, October 13, 2011

By Harry Hitzeman

Authorities have arrested a St. Charles couple and accused them of possession of more than 2 pounds of marijuana with intent to deliver it.

Joy M. Hauschild, 50, and Alan D. Hauschild, 46, both of the 35W100 block of Fox River Drive, were arrested Wednesday morning after members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force searched their home and found 908 grams of marijuana, a scale and drug paraphernalia, prosecutors said.

Joy Hauschild said the drugs — which authorities estimate have a street value of $4,000 — were for medical use, prosecutors said.

Illinois State Police Sgt. Tim Tippet, a member of the task force that was present for the search, said the search warrant arose in part out of complaints about activity around the home.

Authorities found the marijuana in the bedroom closet and some of it was “packaged for intended sale,” Tippet said.

Judge James Hallock set bail for each at $25,000 and they need to post $2,500 each to be free while the case is pending.

The charges carry up to seven years in prison and both Hauschilds are due in court next Oct. 27.

Authorities also arrested Cody Williams, 21, who was living in a finished portion of a detached garage on the property.

He is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia, according to court records. He needs to post $1,500 to be free pending trial and is due in court Oct. 27.

 

12 charged in Aurora-area drug, gang probe


Daily Herald, October 4, 2011

By Marie Wilson


A two-year gang and drug investigation in the Aurora area resulted in state and federal narcotics charges against 12 people, 10 in custody and two at-large, authorities said Tuesday.


“Operation Fallen Angel” targeted known and suspected members of the Manic Latin Disciples gang and their drug distribution activities.


The 12 people charged are accused of distributing mixtures containing cocaine base in the form of crack cocaine in Aurora and nearby communities, according to the FBI.


Three men were arrested Sept. 26 and 27 by FBI agents and Aurora police: Timothy D. Hill, 28, of the 800 block of North Gladstone Avenue, Aurora; Markus D. Russell, 23, of the 400 block of Iowa Avenue, Aurora; and Vernon L. Turner, 38, of the 1800 block of Thornapple Way, Aurora.


Hill and Russell are charged with knowingly and intentionally distributing a controlled substance, a felony. Turner is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, also a felony.


Six people have been charged with state drug offenses, and two of them — Armando Gallardo, 21, and Deanna Jones, 42 — already were in custody before being charged in connection with “Operation Fallen Angel.” Gallardo and Jones were known to reside in the Aurora area before being taken into custody on unrelated charges, according to the FBI.


The four others charged with state offenses in “Operation Fallen Angel” are Daniel James, 55, of the 400 block of North Lake Street, Aurora; Sedrick E. Jones, 35, of the 1700 block of Deer Run Drive, Montgomery; Eugene A. Pryor Jr., 23, of the 1700 block of Deer Run Drive, Montgomery; and Lakisha S. Carter, 28, of the 100 block of Harbor Drive, Aurora.

One other man from the Aurora area, Sean R. Parker Jr., 23, already was in custody on unrelated charges and will appear in federal court, according to the FBI.


The FBI, Aurora and Montgomery police, the Kane and Kendall counties state’s attorney’s offices, the U.S. State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force conducted “Operation Fallen Angel” through undercover operations and court-authorized electronic telephone surveillance.


The two individuals who have been charged but remain at-large are Steve A. Langston, 20, of the 1300 block of Cottonwood Drive, Aurora; and Ajaie M. Martin, 29, of the 2400 block of Marigold Court, Aurora.


Anyone who has information about the fugitives is asked to contact the FBI at (312) 421-6700 or Aurora police at (630) 256-5000.

Two arrested after police seize more than $5,000 in drugs


TribLocal, October 3, 2011

By Lawerence Synett


Two men have been arrested after authorities seized more than $5,000 worth of drugs from their Crystal Lake home, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.


Elton D. Allen, 34, and Brian A. Siracusa, 33, both of the 100 block of Woodstock Street, were charged with drug-related offenses involving possession of a controlled substance.


After a four-month long investigation, police served a search warrant for the home and reportedly found more than 25 grams of cocaine, 129 individually packed foils of heroin, numerous hydrocodone pills, drug paraphernalia, a digital scale and other narcotics packaging materials.


Allen was also wanted on an arrest warrant as a part of a separate investigation, according to a news release. He was charged with three felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and a felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.


Siracusa was charged with two felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver and a felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.


Members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Crystal Lake Police Department, Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit took part in the investigation.

 

Crystal Lake man accused of selling drugs near day-care facility


Chicago
Tribune, TribLocal, September 19, 2011

By Lawerence Synett


A Crystal Lake man who allegedly dealt drugs near a day-care facility now faces felony charges, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.


Keith E. Lamasse, 48, of the 600 block of Rudat Court, was charged with a felony count of delivery of a controlled substance and two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance following a two-month undercover investigation. He also was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cannabis.


Investigators attempted to serve felony arrest warrants for Lamasse at his residence on Sept. 8 after a drug deal allegedly involving more than 25 grams of cocaine took place within 1,000 feet of a day-care facility in that area, according to the sheriff’s office.


Lamasse wasn’t home at the time, but a search of the residence yielded cocaine, drug paraphernalia, a digital scale and other drug-packaging materials in the home, the sheriff’s office said.


The value of the drugs seized during the investigation is estimated at more than $1,000, according to Sheriff Keith Nygren.

Lamasse was taken into custody without incident Sept. 13. He is due in court Friday.


Members of the Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills police departments, Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit assisted in the investigation.


Drug investigation nets 3 arrests, more could come, police say


TribLocal, September 2, 2011

By Carolyn Rusin


Some of the suspected marijuana seized from the house in Barrington. (Provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)

More than a dozen firearms, three pounds of marijuana and cash were seized by law enforcement officials during a drug sting Tuesday, police said.


Mark Bopp, 52 and his son, Adam, 23 have each been charged with one count of unlawful possession of cannabis and another with intent to deliver, both felonies, said Jeffrey, Padilla, deputy director of the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group.


The father and son were taken into custody Tuesday morning, after a warrant to search their house in the 200 block of West Lincoln Avenue was conducted, officials said.


Thirteen firearms consisting of rifles and handguns, around $4,000 and three pounds of marijuana were seized from multiple places in Lake, Cook and McHenry counties, including the Bopp’s house, Padilla said.


Tuesday’s investigation led them to a storage unit in an undisclosed town in McHenry County where some of the recovered items were found. As a result Mark Bopp’s brother Craig Bopp was arrested at his Barrington house in the 700 block of Prospect Avenue. He was charged with similar offenses, officials said.


“There were several search warrants served yesterday on properties related to Mark Bopp of Barrington,” Padilla said Wednesday. “The investigation is ongoing.”


Barrington
police assisted the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which focuses on crimes dealing with illegal drugs, gangs and weapons offenses. The North Central Narcotics Task Force and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Milwaukee office also aided.


Naperville
and Des Plaines police are assisting the law enforcement agencies in the ongoing case, officials said.


A spokesman for the DEA said the drug investigation stems from an arrest by Naperville police of an offender who lives in a town in Kenosha County, Wisc. Authorities were led to Barrington, after a warrant to search the Wisconsin home was executed, which is when the DEA became involved, said Will Terry, the spokesman for the Chicago Field Division of the DEA that oversees five states, including Wisconsin.


Meanwhile, Des Plaines police had its own drug investigation under way, which officials now believe could be linked.

Barrington Police Chief Jerry Libit said the Bopps are no stranger to police.


“We’ve had a long history of incidents at that house,” said the chief, adding police have responded to the house for domestic situations and drug offenses.


“We will continue to investigate when receiving complaints like this and arrest anyone involved, not just the end user,” Libit said.

Last year, Adam Bopp, then 22, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse for abusing a 15-year-old girl he met on a social networking site. He was on probation when arrested Tuesday, Libit said.


Police shut off tap on drugs at 3 Aurora taverns

 

Beacon News, August 16, 2011

By Erika Wurst


More than $34,000 worth of drugs have been taken off Aurora streets as the result of a two-month undercover investigation into sales of cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana at three local taverns.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Summer Snow,” wrapped up over the weekend when 12 of the 18 suspects were arrested, Aurora police announced Tuesday. Six men are still being sought.

Seized in the operation were 335.42 grams of cocaine, 22.31 grams of cannabis, 2.08 grams of ecstasy and two vehicles.

“Illegal narcotics and violent crime go hand-in-hand, and attacking the problem will help assure that we hold the city’s crime levels down to the recent historic lows we’ve enjoyed,” said Police Chief Greg Thomas.

Police said all of the suspects sold drugs to undercover investigators at three Aurora taverns: The End Zone Bar at 1650 N. Farnsworth Ave., Joe’s Cantina at 112 E. Galena Blvd., or Club Gala at 210 E. Galena Blvd. Some of the undercover buys also took place in the area of Galena and LaSalle Street, police said.

“This was an unfortunate incident,” said the End Zone’s owner, George Poulakidas. “We are now working with the Aurora Police Department hand in hand to make sure something like this never happens again. We are taking their advice and expertise and using that to ensure the End Zone, which has been owned by our family for 25 years, is here for generations to come.”

An employee who answered the phone at Club Gala refused to comment on the issue, and a number listed for Joe’s Cantina appeared to not be in service.

Reports on the alleged offenses will be forwarded to the city clerk for possible liquor law violation hearings, police said.

Twelve in custody

Police said that 11 of the 12 offenders in custody are from Aurora. According to police, they include:

Amber Alvarez, 32, 1700 block of North Farnsworth Avenue, charged with felonies possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, delivery of a controlled substance, and delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Luis Campos, 38, 1000 block of Kenmore Avenue, charged with felonies delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Juan Jimenez, 31, 700 block of Front Street, charged with felonies delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of a controlled substance.

Oscar Tovar, 28, 800 block of North Rathbone Avenue; Jesus Garcia, 28, 100 block of Oakview Avenue; Juan Leon, 23, 100 block of Woodlawn Avenue; and Jose Resendiz, 30, 500 block of Sixth Avenue, all charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Armando Valerio Rios, 43, 500 block of East Galena Boulevard, charged with felonies delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Reyna Cruz, 31, 800 block of Hinman Street, and Gilda Ruales, 25, 1000 block of Solfisburg Avenue, both charged with felonies possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of a controlled substance.

Joseph Moore, 26, 300 block of Oak Street, charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance was Emigdio Bustos, 33, 2100 block of Glenwood, Joliet.

Six suspects at large

Police continue to search for six suspects, all Aurora residents. According to police, these suspects include:

Rosario Hernandez, 36, 800 block of Gates Street; Jose Romero-Maravilla, 27, 600 block of South River Street; Roberto Dieppa, 25, 200 block of Prairie Street; and Arturo Rios, 25, 600 block of Forest Avenue; who all could be charged with felonies delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Tiburcio Becerra, 36, 300 block of North Union Street, could be charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Victor Garcia, 35, 1200 block of Fifth Avenue, could be charged with felonies possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a church, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Anyone with information on the suspects still at large are asked to call police at 630-256-5600 or CrimeStoppers at 630-892-1000.

Aurora investigators and the North Central Narcotics Task Force worked with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the FBI; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Kane County state’s attorneys office, police said.

 


Crystal Lake man arrested on drug charges


Trib Local Crystal Lake, July 22, 2010

By Lawerence Synett


A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday morning after allegedly dealing narcotics out of his Crystal Lake home.


Cassidy Villareal, of the first block of South Oriole Trail, was charged with a felony count of unlawful possession of cannabis with the intent to deliver, as well as misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful use of a weapon after police executed a search warrant Friday.


Suspicion arose that narcotics activity could be taking place at the home after police received an anonymous tip, Deputy Chief Eugene Lowery said.


After a two-week long investigation, members of the Crystal Lake Police Targeted Response Unit, Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department were able to obtain a search warrant for the home.


During the search, police reportedly found small amounts of heroin and marijuana, smoking devices, a pair of brass knuckles and an expandable baton, Lowery said.


Villarreal has had prior contacts with police, most notably in September 2008, when he was charged with a felony possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.


“This was a viable offender with a history of drug distribution,” Lowery said.



Police: Sycamore man had 6 pounds of pot at home


Daily Chronicle, June 10, 2011

By Kate Schott

 

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore man has been charged with two felonies after authorities said they found about $20,000 worth of marijuana in his home. Trevor D. Clark, 29, of Sycamore, was arrested after a joint investigation by the Sycamore Police Department and the North Central Narcotics Task Force, according to a news release from Sycamore Police.

 

On Wednesday, investigators conducted a controlled delivery of marijuana to 1551 Longwood Drive in Sycamore, according to the news release. Police said that is where Clark lives.

 

A search warrant was executed after the delivery at that residence and 2,840 grams – more than six pounds – of marijuana were seized, according to the news release and court documents. The street value of the haul was about $20,000, according to court documents.

 

Sycamore Police Sgt. Steven Cook said the investigation into Clark started “with a suspicious package destined for that house came to our attention.” He declined Thursday to give any additional details about the suspicious package or the controlled delivery.

 

Clark has been charged with one count of possession of marijuana, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison; one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail.

 

Bond was set Thursday morning at $25,000 – meaning Clark would need to post $2,500 to be released from jail – during a hearing at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore. The public defender’s office was appointed to represent Clark, who is next due in court Wednesday.

 

Help police

Anyone with information about this or any similar case is asked to contact Sgt. Steven Cook with the Sycamore Police Department at 815-895-3435.

Algonquin to regulate massage parlors

Daily Herald, May 1, 2011

By Elena Ferrarin

After employees of massage parlors in Algonquin were charged with prostitution in three undercover operations last year, village officials are taking steps to license and regulate such businesses.

A proposed ordinance spells out the new rules — such as what clothes employees can wear and where they can touch their customers — and gives the village manager authority to suspend or revoke an establishment’s license or close it down based on violations.

The village board is expected to approve the new ordinance at its meeting Tuesday.

“Part of the problem is that state of Illinois took over the licensing of massage therapists,” Police Chief Russell Laine said. “We didn’t have anything in place, we didn’t license the establishments. We were not able to go in and close them once we found illegal activity.”

Under the proposed ordinance, massage establishments cannot serve as sleeping quarters or have a full kitchen. Their storefront windows cannot be opaque.

Employees and massage therapists must wear nontransparent clothes, and both the employees’ and the clients’ private parts must be fully covered. The ordinance also spells out rules of conduct between employees and clients.

In January 2010, an employee of the former Massage Co., in the 4000 block of West Algonquin Road, was arrested by the North Central Narcotics Task Force and charged with prostitution. The business later changed its name to Nature Spa, Deputy Police Chief Ed Urban said.

On Nov. 12, an employee of World Health Spa, in the 1400 block of West Algonquin Road, was arrested by Algonquin police and charged with prostitution, Urban said.

On Nov. 22, Algonquin police arrested an employee of Nature Spa on a prostitution charge, he said. The business has since closed.

Laine said all the arrests took place after police received complaints of illegal activity. The new ordinance has “strong support” from several professional, legitimate massage parlors in Algonquin, he said.

North Aurora man faces several drug charges

Daily Herald, April 20, 2011

By Susan Sarkauskas

By Susan Sarkauskas
ssarkauskas@dailyherald.com

 

A North Aurora man faces felony narcotics charges following a two-month undercover investigation by North Aurora police and the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Travis L. Perkins, 29, of the 200 block of Laurel Drive was arrested at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, police announced Friday.

He is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, park or church; unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; unlawful possession of a controlled substance; unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, park or church; and unlawful possession of cannabis. The most serious charge is a Class X felony, punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison if convicted.

According to task force director Bill Backus, the investigation started when a citizen told North Aurora police about suspicious activity on Laurel. The person reported multiple cars making short visits to Perkins’ residence and a high volume of pedestrian traffic in and out of the residence.

“This is an excellent case where an observant citizen chose to get involved to help clean up their own community,” Backus said in a prepared statement. “I applaud the courage it took for this person to come forward and provide this information to law enforcement.”

Police seized about 1 pound of cannabis, 1 ounce of cocaine and $1,295 in cash.

Perkins will appear in Kane County bond call Saturday, and is being held in the Kane County jail.

Laurel Drive is near Schneider Park and Schneider Elementary School.

Perkins is on parole for a 2006 conviction on possession of cocaine with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, church or park. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and was released in November 2009. He also has a 2003 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, and a 1997 conviction for armed robbery, according to court records.

 

West Dundee man accused of growing 84 pot plants

Daily Herald, March 25, 2011

By Susan Sarkauskas

A West Dundee man is in jail, accused of growing 84 marijuana plants.

Bail was set at $500,000 Friday afternoon for Christopher T. Pollack, 31, of the 35W200 block of Country School Road. The state’s attorney had requested $1 million bail.

The North Central Narcotics Task Force reported receiving an anonymous tip saying that Pollack was growing marijuana. Officers went to the house at 5:10 p.m. Thursday and reported smelling marijuana from outside the house. They obtained a search warrant and inside found the plants, 359 grams of cannabis, pipes, grinders, a digital scale and drug-packaging material, according to the synopsis presented in court.

They also found .38-caliber ammunition in a brown leather wallet. Pollack does not have a Firearm Owners Identification card, police said.

Pollack is charged with production of cannabis, unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of ammunition, according to court records.

Pollack has previous convictions in McHenry County for domestic battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and convictions in Kane County for possession of a controlled substance and possession of cannabis.

His next court date is April 11.

If convicted, Pollack could be sentenced from three to seven years in prison on the most serious charge. The judge told Pollack he may be eligible for extended sentencing, in which case the sentence could range from seven to 14 years.

 

U.S.-grown pot finding its way to the suburbs

Daily Herald, March 23, 2011

By Jameel Naqvi

In January, two men from the West Coast, heading east on Interstate 88 in a Chevrolet Impala with Oregon plates, blew past Route 31 in North Aurora without paying the 60-cent toll.

A Kane County sheriff's deputy pulled them over and found 60 pounds of high-grade marijuana in the truck — a haul with an estimated street value of $1 million.

On March 12, a Ford Econoline van with Arizona plates was motoring west on Interstate 90 near Hampshire — at a leisurely 35 mph.

As a squad car pulled alongside the van, the driver of the van leaned back in his seat, trying to hide his face from the officer.

Police stopped the van and found 230 pounds of top-shelf marijuana, with an estimated value of $4 million. A passenger in the van provided a Fresno, Calif., address.

Just two days later, Cook County sheriff's deputies in Elk Grove Township pulled over two Florida men in an 18-wheeler with Florida plates.

Under a load of carrots, police found 80 plastic-wrapped bundles containing more than half a ton of marijuana. The estimated value: $5,325,000.

Suburban authorities say these three hauls, and other large pot busts this year, are part of an increasing trend of high-quality, domestically grown marijuana — much of it originating on the West Coast — that is finding its way to the Chicago area.

“There is definitely an increasing market as well as the ability to increase profits,” said Kane County Sheriff's Lt. Patrick Gengler. “With the higher quality, the dealers and distributors are able to charge a little bit more money.”

In the past five years, drug organizations have started to grow marijuana in the United States, taking advantage of favorable growing conditions on the West Coast.

Authorities say that has enabled drug gangs to avoid the costs associated with shipping marijuana across the Mexican border — especially in recent years, as federal authorities have tightened border controls.

At the same time, many states in the west now allow some form of medical marijuana. When otherwise legal growing operations have filled their orders for medicinal use, some of them package their excess product for sale in eastern states where marijuana is illegal, authorities say.

“The seizures that we've been involved in ... we have made some significant ties to medical marijuana being produced in these western states,” said Master Sgt. Bill Backus, director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Police are also seeing an increase in marijuana produced right in their backyard, with local dealers growing hundreds of plants in rural fields, suburban homes and forest preserves.

“We had a point where we had a tremendous amount of outdoor grows,” said McHenry County sheriff's Sgt. John Koziol, who oversees the narcotics division. “We started realizing they were identical to ones they were finding in Washington and California.”

On Friday, the McHenry County sheriff's office announced the arrest of three people accused of running a hydroponic marijuana operation out of house near Marengo.

The increase in product flowing into the area has placed more pressure on suburban law enforcement agencies, which then have less resources to fight harder drugs like heroin. (“That's still our number one priority,” Koziol said.)

But authorities say they are getting better at stopping the flow of marijuana and have aggressively moved to shut down grow houses and outdoor pot farms. Local departments have also learned to work together more closely and collaborate with agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Central Narcotics Task Force, of the Illinois State Police.

“Our main mission is to choke off that pipeline of large amounts of dope coming in the area,” said Will Taylor, special agent with the DEA. “Interdiction has improved dramatically.”

The large seizures, often netting hundreds of thousands of dollars in marijuana and cash, prevent a large amount of product from hitting the streets, cutting into the profits of local and out-of-state dealers.

“We're happy whenever we are able to get a large amount of drugs off the street,” said Liane Jackson, spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff's office.

But authorities say growing demand, high profits and the push for medical marijuana in Illinois means suburban police will be fighting the battle against illegal pot for a long time.

“Medical marijuana in Illinois is a bad idea. We're basing that on what we've learned from other states,” Backus said. “The abuses that we've seen in western states with dispensaries ... all those abuses give us grave concern for that to happen in Illinois as well.”


Montgomery pair face gun, drug charges


Beacon News, March 18, 2011

By Beacon News Staff Writer


Two Montgomery men face gun and drug charges after a raid Thursday by the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Agents arrested Ronne McLarrin, 37, and Thomas Skowronski, 19, at their home in the 300 block of Webster Street in Montgomery.

Police said the arrests concluded a two-month undercover investigation into illegal drug distribution.

Police said McLarrin faces felony charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, unlawful possession of a marijuana with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of marijuana, and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.


Skowronski faces a felony charge of unlawful possession of a stolen weapon and misdemeanors unlawful use of a weapon without an FOID card and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the raid, agents seized about an ounce of marijuana and a rifle which had been reported stolen, police said. Police said recovery of the rifle found helped Montgomery police in charging Skowronski with a recent unsolved residential burglary.

“While this investigation did not involve a large amount of illegal drugs, the activity was causing concern and issues in the surrounding neighborhood,” said North Central Narcotics Task Force Director Bill Backus. “The quality of life for the residents in the area is definitely improved with these arrests.”


Backus urged anyone having information regarding illegal drug activity to call the task force at 630-264-4335 or visit www.ncntf.org.

 

Mark Burger gets jail despite strong support


Kane County Chronicle, February 3, 2011

By Brenda Schory


ST. CHARLES
TOWNSHIP
– Ex-pharmacist Mark Burger, 43, of Elburn was sentenced to 60 days in Kane County Jail Thursday in connection with his guilty plea for illegal possession 700 methadone pills at his house.

Kane County Associate Court Judge Judge Allen Anderson also sentenced Burger to 30 months probation, 150 hours of community service and pay $30,000 in fines. Gallagher also ordered that during his probation that Burger continue attending meetings to deal with his drug addiction, be subject to random drug tests and that he find a full-time job.

Burger is eligible to be released in 30 days, for good time, which is a day off for every day of good behavior while in jail.

Burger was charged in 2008 with multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The delivery charge was later dropped. He has been free on $10,000 bond since his arrest.

Police interest in Burger was sparked by an anonymous tip in 2006, St. Charles Police Officer Charles Pierce testified. Pierce was working with the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force at the time. Pierce said a search of the Burger Drugs sales records showed 10,000 methadone pills and 90,000 hydrocodone, the generic for the painkiller Vicodin, were unaccounted for.

The three-hour sentencing hearing included sometimes tearful testimony from a dozen family members and friends as to Burger's trustworthiness, kindness and how they would support him during probation to maintain his sobriety.

Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Jodi Gleason had argued for at least 180 days of jail time for Burger, 48 months of probation and fines of up to $250,000. Burger's attorney Troy Owens argued for probation and no jail time, saying until his arrest, his client did not have so much as a parking ticket.

"Twelve witnesses told you what kind of man he is," Owens said. "Probation without incarceration is a just sentence."

But Anderson said the jail time was necessary to deter others.

When the sentence was announced, Burger's wife, Karen Burger cried into her sister's shoulder, saying in an anguished whisper, "He doesn't belong in there."

Burger was taken to jail immediately after sentencing, and for security reasons, bailiffs would not allow a goodbye hug from his tearful wife.

As bailiffs led him away, many cried and called out, "We love you Mark," and "Be strong."

Among those testifying on his behalf was John Hoscheit, an attorney with Hoscheit, McGuirk, McCracken & Cuscaden in St. Charles. Hoscheit is also a Kane County board member and president of the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

"He was a conscientious, hard worker [who spent] ungodly hours at the drug store taking care of customers," Hoscheit testified.

It was a common refrain as friends and family described Burger as reliable, trustworthy and responsible, a good father to his two children who live with his ex-wife in Wisconsin, an attentive son to his elderly parents, a loyal supportive husband, a steadfast community supporter, good neighbor and devoted friend.

Still, under questioning by Gleason, many said they did not know about Burger's drug addiction, nor his relapse. Those who did, such as his sister, Robyn Gola, 48, of Geneva, said she counseled him to get help.

James Diorio, 41, owner of Yurs Funeral Home in St. Charles, testified to their friendship. In June 2009, they were at his family's vacation home in Galena when Diorio's wife developed kidney stones. Diorio said he entrusted his three sons and three dogs to the Burgers at his vacation home while his wife was hospitalized.

Burger's wife of seven years, Karen Burger, 37, testified that after his arrest, he was treated as an in-patient at Resurrection Behavioral Health for his addiction for three months. She testified that her husband has been sober since then and they both attend meetings for follow-up support.

But under Gleason's questioning, Karen Burger admitted she did not know about her husband's relapse until police found 700 methadone pills hidden in a tool chest. Gleason said Burger had successfully hidden his addiction, taking up to 30 pills a day, from 2003 until 2008.

"There weren't any signs," Karen Burger said.

In Burger's own statement, the druggist explained that a boating accident in the late 1990s led to a slipped disc in his back and a prescription for Vicodin led to his addiction. He was treated for the addiction and remained clean for 3 1/2 years. Then a severe bout of kidney stones and two surgeries led to another Vicodin prescription – and a relapse.

Burger said he began to use methadone to combat withdrawal from Vicodin.

"I'm sorry," Burger said.

 

Police: N. Aurora residents caught with $22K in drugs

Daily Herald, January 11, 2011

By Paul Biasco

Two North Aurora residents are behind bars after narcotics agents searched their residence early Tuesday and found roughly $22,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana, authorities said.

The North Central Narcotics Task Force, acting on a warrant, arrested Jeanette M. Baum, 30, and Michael E. McGregor, 42, just before 8 a.m. Tuesday at a house on the 100 block of North Lincolnway Street, said Bill Backus, director of the task force.

Approximately 8 ounces of cocaine and 2 ounces of marijuana were found in the residence along with more than $10,000 in cash and drug packaging materials, Backus said.

The two, who were living together in the residence, were arrested without incident.

Both McGregor and Baum were charged with manufacture or delivery of between 100 and 400 grams of a controlled substance, according to Kane County jail records.

McGregor was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2003 for delivery or possession of between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, according to court records.

Tips can be filed on the task force's website anonymously at www.ncntf.org

 

Nine charged in Aurora cocaine distribution ring


Beacon News, January 10, 2011

By Beacon-News Staff

Nine people have been charged after a lengthy investigation into cocaine distribution in Aurora, the North Central Narcotics Task Force announced Friday. The seven men and two women arrested face charges ranging from distribution of drugs to false reporting of a stolen car.

North Central Narcotics Task Force Director Sgt. Bill Backus said the arrests are related to the same drug investigation that led Aurora officers to seize $190,000 from a car they stopped in October. That seizure has been contested because the occupants of the car — two Aurora brothers — were not charged with any crimes, although the money has been sent to the federal government. The brothers are not among the nine people charged.


Those charged are:


Manuel Carranza, 24, of the 100 block of Heathgate Road, Montgomery, charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance.

Roberto Hernandez, 27, of the 1000 block of Russell Avenue, Aurora; possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, charged with possession of a controlled substance, false reporting of a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Eddie Hernandez, 19, of the 1000 block of Indian Avenue, Aurora; charge with use of a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school and use of a weapon.

Guadalupe Gil, 22, of the 100 block of Heathgate Road, Montgomery; charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.

Helen Finneran, 40, of the 900 block of East St. Charles Street, Lombard; charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Jose Nunez-Martinez, 36, of the 800 block of East New York Street, Aurora; charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.

Jose Baez, 26, of the 1000 block of Fifth Street, Aurora; charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Rodolfo Gallardo Jr., 19, of the 700 block of Morningside Avenue, Aurora; charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.

Gabriela Hernandez, 17, of the 1000 block of Russell Avenue, Aurora; charged with false reporting of a stolen motor vehicle.


Backus said the investigation involved Aurora police, Kane County prosecutors, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and the U.S. attorney’s office.

Backus said the investigation started in April of 2010 when undercover agents purchased cocaine from Carranza several times in Aurora. During negotiations to purchase multiple kilograms of cocaine, agents learned Carranza’s suppliers smuggled cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico, Backus said.

Over the next few months, police from Aurora, the task force and ICE conducted surveillance on several suspects and obtained telephone wire taps, Backus said.

Backus said information obtained during the surveillance and wiretaps was forwarded to law enforcement agencies in other states, which resulted in additional investigations.

According to Backus, the investigation resulted in the seizure of about $415,000 in cash, three vehicles, a handgun and more than three kilograms of cocaine. Agents are also pursuing the forfeiture of one home.

Authorities said Carranza, Roberto Hernandez and Eddie Hernandez were all involved in the distribution of multiple-kilogram amounts of cocaine in the Aurora area. The other suspects were involved in distribution of the cocaine in smaller amounts, Backus said.

Backus said charges are being reviewed on other suspects, and additional arrests are expected.

 

Two Aurora brothers, Jesus and Jose Martinez, were stopped by Aurora police on Oct. 18, 2010, on Aurora’s West Side. Although neither was charged with any offenses, police seized $190,000 found in a bag in their vehicle.

Police said they stopped the vehicle after a wiretap on the brothers’ phones turned up information about a meeting with a person involved in drug deals. The brothers have gone to court seeking to have the $190,000 returned. On Wednesday, Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller said police had probable cause to seize the money and declined to hold the city of Aurora in contempt for not returning it.


“We are confident in our investigation, the actions of our officers and the future successful prosecution of these subjects,” Backus said.

 

Kane judge rules cops can keep brothers' $190,000


Daily Herald, January 5, 2011

By Harry Hitzeman

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A Kane County Judge ruled Wednesday that police had probable cause to seize $190,000 from an Aurora man who was a person of interest — but not charged — in an ongoing narcotics investigation.

Aurora brothers Jesus and Jose Martinez say the $190,040 in a duffel bag that was seized from Jesus Martinez on Oct. 18 was their life savings and they were bringing the money to their father so he could pay off his mortgage and retire in Mexico.

The city of Aurora says the seizure is part of a narcotics investigation and that the money was turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Patrick Kinnally, the brothers' attorney, argued Wednesday that the city should be held in contempt of court because it has not returned the money despite a Nov. 29 order by recently retired Kane County Judge Michael Colwell to do so.

Kinnally also noted the Martinezes were not arrested, not charged with a crime and the police never stopped the other vehicle that allegedly was part of a drug deal.

“You can't take somebody's money just because you have a hunch they're going to buy drugs,” Kinnally said. “This is America. It's not Russia.”

John Murphey, an attorney representing Aurora, countered that the traffic stop and seizure was part of an ongoing investigation in cooperation with the state police and the North Central Narcotics Task Force. He said Aurora police only possessed the money briefly before turning it over to state police.

“The city of Aurora, for all intents and purposes, never had the money,” he said.

Murphey said several arrest warrants had yet to be issued in the investigation, and any further disclosure of information could hamper the investigation and put undercover officers in harm's way.

“I am not going to risk lives,” he said.

Judge Thomas E. Mueller agreed with Murphey and ruled that police had probable cause to make the traffic stop and subsequent seizure.

Mueller also said that in many investigations police don't make immediate arrests in drug deals because they are working their way up to get the main dealer.

The case is set for another hearing on March 8.

Kinnally and the Martinezes declined to comment after the ruling.

Kinnally does have the option of including other parties, such as the Illinois State Police, as defendants in the lawsuit.

Undercover investigation leads to charges against

St. Charles man

 

Kane County Chronicle, December 28, 2010

By ASHLEY RHODEBECK

ST. CHARLES – A 35-year-old man faces felony drug charges after an undercover investigation conducted by the North Central Narcotics Task Force revealed he sold drugs from his St. Charles home, Illinois State Police Sgt. Tim Tippet said.

The task force began investigating Michael P. Smith, 35, of the 600 block of South Third Street, after receiving a tip from an anonymous source, Tippet said.

After a “lengthy investigation,” which included undercover officers buying cocaine at Smith’s house, the task force – with assistance from the St. Charles Police Department – executed a search warrant at his residence at 4:45 p.m. Dec. 17, Tippet said.

Officials found marijuana and other indications that narcotics, including cocaine, were being sold, Tippet said.

Smith was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. According to court records, 27.4 grams of a substance containing marijuana was found.

He was released from the Kane County jail on a 10 percent cash bond of $500, according to court records. He is expected in court at 9 a.m. Feb. 3.

Online court records show his criminal history includes drug charges dating as far back as 1993.

Smith did not return a voice mail message seeking comment by deadline.

Tippet encourages anyone with information about crimes, such as those involving drugs and weapons, to contact the North Central Narcotics Task Force. Tips can be done anonymously; go to www.ncntf.org for more information.

The task force is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement organization that investigates drug trafficking and distribution, gang activity and weapon offenses in Kane, McHenry and DeKalb counties.

 

Ex-St. Charles pharmacist admits to stealing drugs

Daily Herald, December 17, 2010

By Harry Hitzeman

 

The former lead pharmacist for Burger Drugs, a fixture in downtown St. Charles for 70 years, pleaded guilty Friday to possession of methadone, an opiate used to treat heroin addition.

In exchange for the plea, Kane County prosecutors agreed to drop nine other felony charges against Mark L. Burger, 43, of the 1400 block of Melbourne Street, Elburn.

Prosecutors also agreed to seek only two years’ probation for the charge of possession of a controlled substance, which carries a sentencing range of probation to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

If he chooses, however, Judge Allen Anderson can send Burger to prison at a sentencing hearing in late January.

“I’m not bound by anything,” Anderson said. “The full range of possible punishments are available to the court.”

Burger’s defense attorney Troy Owens said numerous character witnesses are expected to testify on Jan. 28.

Burger and Owens declined to comment outside of court Friday.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Jodi Gleason said if the case went to trial, prosecutors would have shown from an audit of Burger’s records that 10,348 pills of methadone were unaccounted for between January 2006 and April 2008.

Burger initially was charged late 2008 with acquiring, possessing and delivering controlled substances of methadone and hydrocodone between January 2006 and April 2008.

The Illinois State Police’s North Central Narcotics Task Force began investigating Burger after Naperville Crime Stoppers got a tip about a man who said he was buying large quantities of Vicodin, a painkiller, from Burger.

The tipster, according to court documents, told authorities the man had spent as much as $250,000, buying as many as 1,000 pills at a time.

Authorities in April 2008 searched Burger’s home near the Blackberry Creek Elementary School and the pharmacy, 9 E. Main St., and seized large quantities of prescriptions drugs and $10,000 cash.

Burger also agreed in June 2008 to have his pharmacy license suspended indefinitely by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations because of the investigation. Burger did not deny or admit guilt, but didn’t dispute the suspension.

Burger Drugs closed in July 2008 and Burger’s father and the pharmacy’s owner, Bob Burger, said at the time the closing had nothing to do with the investigation and the family had been trying to find a buyer for the independent pharmacy.

Mark Burger remains free on $10,000 bond 

Police: Waukegan man tried to trade heroin


Northwest Herald, November 6, 2010

By Crystal Lindell

A Waukegan man remained in jail Friday night after a Wednesday incident where he allegedly tried to trade heroin for a semi-automatic handgun.

Patrick J. Anderson, 30, of 820 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Waukegan, also had an active arrest warrant out against him stemming from a November 2008 incident where he allegedly tried to burglarize the home of an off-duty police officer. Chad A. Lowrance also allegedly was involved in that incident, and he was in the Lake County jail on unrelated charges.

Anderson has been charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 2 felony; attempted unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, a Class 3 felony; and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony.

He was in the McHenry County Jail with a $250,000 bond, 10 percent of which he’d have to post to be released.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, and the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotic Task Force all were involved in Anderson’s arrest.

Cocaine dealer gets 9 years in prison

Daily Herald, October 20, 2010

By Josh Stockinger

A Chicago man accused of dealing crack cocaine in the western suburbs was sentenced to nine years in prison Wednesday for selling to undercover police officers in Kane County last year.

Michael A. Mattix, 47, of the 1900 block of North Sayre Avenue, pleaded guilty in September to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. He had faced up to 30 years in prison for the Class X felony.

Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland said Mattix sold six grams of cocaine to an undercover officer from the North Central Narcotics Task Force on Aug. 19, 2009, in Aurora. Less than a week later, on Aug. 25, 2009, he sold more than an ounce in another undercover drug buy, also in Aurora.

Narcotics agents arrested Mattix and co-defendant David J. Johnson, 39, also of Chicago, in Lisle last September after police said they failed to show up for a third scheduled drug buy in Kane County. A third Chicago resident, David L. Jackson, 44, was later arrested in connection with the scheme.

Authorities have said the men routinely dealt crack cocaine in the suburbs, with Mattix arranging transactions over the phone.

By law, Mattix must serve at least 4½ years of his prison term, with credit for more than a year served in the Kane County jail while his case was pending. Judge Thomas Mueller also ordered him to pay about $6,000 in court fines and costs.

Johnson pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance in December and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jackson, who returns to court Nov. 19, remains charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and calculated criminal drug conspiracy, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty.

 

Arrest Made After Police Seize Drugs

Crystal Lake man hit with felony charges.


Crystal
Lake Patch, October 18, 2010

By Staff Writter


Jacob A. Lizzio, 24, of the 100 block of Lincoln Parkway, was charged Oct. 11 with a number of felonies after police found drugs and items leading to the manufacturing and sales of illegal drugs, at the resident's home.

Police went to Lizzio's home at approximately 2:30 pm after receiving citizen complaints of suspected criminal activity, according to police.

According to police, upon making initial contact with the resident, an overwhelming odor of cannabis was detected by investigating officers, which emanated from the interior of the residence.

A search warrant for the residence was obtained and executed by Crystal Lake Police and Agents from the North Central Narcotics Task Force. A subsequent search of the interior of the home resulted in the seizure of 14 cannabis sativa plants, numerous items of drug paraphernalia, approximately 122 grams of cannabis, digital scales and numerous items relating to the production and sale of cannabis.

Lizzio was charged with Class 4 Felonies Unlawful Production of Cannabis Sativa Plants, Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, Class 3 Felony of Unlawful Possession with the Intent to Deliver Cannabis and a Class A Misdemeanor Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Lizzio was later confined at the McHenry County Jail, where bond was set at $15,000. He has since posted bond and was released pending a court appearance of Oct. 19 at the McHenry County Court House.  

 

Operation Clean Sweep nets 26 arrests in Aurora

 

Daily Herald Staff, October 4, 2010

By Paul Biasco

 

The Aurora Police Department with help from local, state and federal law enforcement officers arrested 26 suspects on outstanding warrants and sent 11 parole violators back to prison during a joint weekend operation.

Operation Clean Sweep brought more than 100 officers to Aurora starting early Friday morning and finishing at midnight Saturday, according to the Aurora Police Department.

The sweep netted 26 arrests on 39 warrants for charges including attempted murder and armed robbery, as well as traffic violations.

"They ran the whole gamut of crimes," Aurora city spokesman Dan Ferrelli said. "The state authorities had lists of people that were targeted, and we helped them as far as local intelligence as to where they may be, where they hang out, where family members and friends live."

In addition, seven guns were seized and one person was deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police said.

The operation consisted of authorities serving outstanding arrest warrants, assuring parolees were in compliance with their parole conditions and adding manpower in areas with increased criminal activity, according to police.

The idea for the operation came from recent sweeps in Chicago and was planned over a several weeks, Ferrelli said.

Other participating agencies included the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections, the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, Kane County Sheriff's Office, the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, North Central Narcotics Task Force and the Naperville and Bloomingdale police departments.

"We want to send the message to those involved in criminal activity that it's not just the Aurora Police that are looking for them," Ferrelli said. "It is anyone wearing a badge."

During the increased patrols, police also arrested three people for possession of cannabis, one for obstructing information and ten people for driving with either suspended or revoked driver's licenses.

"When we take the expertise from our organization and partner with skilled officers from other agencies, we become a greater force in the apprehension of criminals," Aurora Police Commander Kristen Ziman said.

 

Police: Alleged dealer hospitalized after swallowing heroin

Northwest Herald, September 27, 2010

By Jillian Duchnowski

 

Weekend Rewind: September 24-26ALGONQUIN - A 31-year-old Algonquin man accused of dealing heroin to an undercover officer told police shortly after his arrest that he swallowed heroin.

 

So Kyle A. Stewart, of 1264 Merrill Ave., was hospitalized for about three days before appearing in court Monday on nine felony charges. The most serious charge he faces typically is punishable by between six and 30 years in prison.

 

Stewart sold heroin multiple times Wednesday and Thursday to an undercover officer, said Chris Burke, a special agent with the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force. The sales happened near Stewart’s home, which is within 1,000 feet of a church, Burke said.

 

Police arrested him about 11:40 p.m. Thursday as he was riding in a car to another supposed heroin sale, Burke said.

 

As he was being taken to McHenry County Jail, Stewart told police he had swallowed heroin that he previously had hidden in his clothing. He was taken to Centegra Hospital - Woodstock, Burke said.

 

Stewart was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon, when police took him to jail, Burke said.

 

Stewart was appointed a public defender Monday and plans to ask Judge Sharon Prather to reduce his bail Wednesday. He presently must post $10,000 to be released while the case is pending.

North Aurora man gets prison for gun charge

 

Daily Herald, September 3, 2010

By Josh Stockinger

 

A North Aurora man was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for possessing a deadly weapon while planning to sell illegal drugs, Kane County prosecutors said.

Torico M. Scott, 29, had been convicted in July of one count of armed violence, a Class X felony, after a bench trial in front of Circuit Judge Thomas E. Mueller. He faced up to 30 years in prison.

Scott was arrested July 19, 2009, after the North Central Narcotics Task Force searched his home on the 200 block of Laurel Drive, recovering more than 30 grams of marijuana, which he admitted was packaged to sell, authorities said. Also found was a Winchester Ranger 20-gauge shotgun under a sofa in proximity to Scott when officers arrived.

By law, Scott must serve at least half of his sentence, or six years. He received credit for 75 days served in the county jail.

"This conviction was the result of proactive police work by the North Central Narcotics Task Force, with the end result being that drugs, weapons and a person who sought to sell the drugs within our community were taken off the streets of North Aurora," Assistant State's Attorneys Mark Stajdohar and Deb Lang said in a joint statement.

 

 

Schaumburg drug suspect faces federal charges

 

Daily Herald Staff, August 24, 2010

By Josh Stockinger

 

Kane County prosecutors Tuesday dismissed their case against a suspected drug dealer who is now facing more serious charges in federal court.

Thavatxay "Todd" Manirat, 34, of the 900 block of Parker Drive, Schaumburg, was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury on possession of a controlled substance charges alleging he sold, distributed or dispensed BZP, a substance that had not yet been outlawed in Illinois when he was arrested in Elgin last summer.

Although Manirat had pleaded guilty last month to possessing a look-alike substance in Kane County, Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland said, the state elected to dismiss the case in light of the more serious federal charges.

"The feds can do a lot more to him than we can," she said.

Authorities have said Manirat offered to sell 14,000 ecstasy pills to undercover agents from the North Central Narcotics Task Force for $64,000 last year in a scheme that involved drug houses in Elgin and St. Charles. But the substance later turned out to be BZP, a drug Orland said has a slightly different chemical makeup than ecstasy and was not illegal in Illinois until January.

Federal law, however, prohibited the possession and distribution of BZP at the time Manirat was arrested, which is what led to the federal charges, Orland said.

"Chemically, (the substances) are a little different, but it's basically the same thing," she said. "He may not have even known it was BZP rather than ecstasy."

Court records show Manirat pleaded not guilty to the new charges at a hearing last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Defense attorney Sandra Byrd, who represented Manirat in Kane County, said she doesn't expect to counsel him in federal court. She had no further comment.

Manirat's criminal background includes a 1996 conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. The victim was 20 and he was 30, according to public records.

• Daily Herald staff writer Christy Gutowski contributed to this report.

 

 

Cops kill pot field near Woodstock

 

Daily Herald, August 20, 2010

By Staff Writer

 

Authorities in McHenry County on Thursday eradicated a field of about 4,250 marijuana plants -- reportedly valued at more than $4 million -- after discovering a large-scale growing operation in a conservation area near Woodstock.

Officers from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, McHenry County Conservation District and North Central Narcotics Task Force participated in the raid, which authorities said found thousands of plants 5- to 7-feet tall spread over about three acres near the 900 block of Cold Springs Road.

Sheriff's police said the remote field was located by air patrol.

No suspects were arrested, but police said the fields appeared to be recently tended to and the plants were being prepared for harvest.

 

 

Crystal Lake teen gets prison for selling drugs outside high school

 

Daily Herald, August 8, 2010

By Charles Keeshan

 

A 19-year-old Crystal Lake man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison after he admitted guilt to allegations he dealt cocaine outside a local high school.

Jeremy R. Reid, of the 100 block if Illinois, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance stemming from claims he sold drugs to an undercover police officer Dec. 8 in the driveway of Crystal Lake Central High School.

Reid was not a student at the school and there is no evidence he was selling drugs to students, authorities said.

Besides the prison time, Reid was ordered Tuesday to make $505 restitution to the North Central Narcotics Task Force, money the law enforcement agency had paid him in undercover drug buys.

In exchange for the guilty plea, McHenry County prosecutors lowered the charge against Reid from a Class X to a Class 1 felony, allowing him to take a four-year sentence instead of a minimum six required under the original charge. Prosecutors also dismissed three other drug-related charges filed in connection with the narcotics investigation.

Prostitution charges for 2 women arrested at local massage parlors


The Courier News, July 30, 2010

By Mike Danahey

Two female workers at The East West Healing Touch locations in Crystal Lake and Hampshire offered an undercover police officer posing as a client more than just a massage Thursday afternoon. Their actions resulted in arrests for both women on prostitution charges. As of late Thursday, police said charges were pending against the establishment's three owners, too.

At the request of Crystal Lake and Hampshire police, the North Central Narcotics Task Force had been investigating both locations. Police in both towns had received tips and complaints about the spots. Members of the task force said that both also had postings up on the therapeutic services listings on Craigslist, with a phone number for ordering an offsite massage the same in both.

"Within the first few weeks of this year, we started hearing rumors about this place," Brian Thompson, Hampshire's acting police chief, said as officers  executed a search warrant on the establishment at 125 W. Oak Knoll Drive.

Thompson said he looked into the matter and found a man who admitted he had been offered a "happy ending" to his massage. Thompson said he contacted the business owner, Jennie Gardner, at that time, and Gardner assured him the female masseuse in question had been fired. Rumors started back up, leading to an investigation of the business, in a strip shopping center off Route 72. Gardner could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

According to police, at 3 p.m. Thursday an undercover officer entered the Hampshire location. He was more than a half-hour into a legitimate massage when the masseuse, Mengyi Guan, 46, turned him over, massaged his front, and without asking went on to massage his genitals, asking, "That good? That good?" The officer then came up with a reason to leave, whereupon police served a search warrant.

Guan was charged with Class 4 felony prostitution because the establishment is within 1,000 feet of a public park. Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian said Guan also was in the United States illegally; her visa had expired on Jan. 5.

After the raid, Thompson contacted Gardner, 40, of Marengo. Police learned that Gardner owns the two businesses with Yanfang Pan, 40, of Sycamore, and Zhagwei Li, 50, of Sycamore, who police said also owns the China Palace restaurant in West Dundee. All three were being questioned late Thursday evening with charges pending, police said.

The Hampshire arrest happened a short time after the four members of the task force arrested a woman at the Healing Touch location at 900 Pyott Road in Crystal Lake.

At about 12:30 p.m., police said, an undercover officer arrived for an appointment he had made by responding to a Craigslist post. More than 40 minutes into the massage, the woman rolled the officer over, removed his towel and, without asking, made a move to massage the officer's privates. At that point, the officer made an excuse to leave, then called the rest of the task force to serve the warrant.

The woman, who went by the name of Koko, was charged with misdemeanor prostitution and was still in police custody late Thursday evening, pending positive identification.

A female Chinese national working at the Crystal Lake location and a male Chinese clerk at the Hampshire location were questioned and released, police said.

Thursday's arrests are among a handful of similar arrests made this year in the area.

On June 8, In St. Charles, Han Chunnu, 45, was charged with prostitution after a search warrant was served at a business known as Med Spa 64, 504 E. Main St. Chunnu allegedly offered to perform a sex act with an undercover officer.

On the night of Jan. 21, after conducting a similar undercover operation as Thursday's, the NCNTF executed a warrant at Massage Co., 4093 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin, and arrested Jinfun Jin, 45, on Class 4 felony prostitution charges. The severity of the charges stemmed from the business being close to a school.

Police said there was evidence that Jin and another woman had been living in the commercial space.

 

 

Two charged with selling heroin in St. Charles

 

Daily Herald, July 16, 2010

By Susan Sarkauskas

 

Two men were arrested in St. Charles Thursday afternoon on charges of selling heroin, police said.

Matthew F. Gober, of Bloomingdale, was charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony; one count of delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 2 felony; two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony; and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class 4 felony. Bail was set Friday at $150,000.

Patrick R. Maher, of Wood Dale, was charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony; possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class 1 felony; and possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. His bail was set at $100,000.

Both men were being held in the Kane County jail as of late Friday afternoon.

An undercover North Central Narcotics Task Force officer investigating Gober bought 1.8 grams of heroin from Gober and Maher in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 3900 block of East Main Street. Their vehicle was later stopped by St. Charles and Illinois State Police. A search of the car revealed an additional 12.5 grams of heroin, according to ISP Sgt. Tim Tippet of the task force.

Gober, 52, lives in the 200 block of Applewood Lane in Bloomingdale. Maher, 33, lives in the 600 block of Welter Drive in Wood Dale.

The arrest of Gober concludes a three-month undercover investigation by the task force.

Their next scheduled court dates are July 28.

  

Suspected drug dealer busted in Aurora

 

Daily Herald, July 10, 2010

By Lenore T. Adkins

Illinois State and Aurora police made a significant dent in the local drug trade Thursday by taking a suspected crack cocaine dealer off the streets.

Anthony D. Bogard, 25, an admitted gang member living in the 200 block of Valley Avenue, Aurora, faces nine drug-related charges in connection with the case, police said.

The charges are:

• Delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of Oakhurst Forest Preserve.

• Delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of St. Nicholas Catholic Church.

• Delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the Fox River Bike Path.

• Three counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

• Three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Bogard's arrest comes at the culmination of a three-month, undercover investigation involving the Illinois State Police's North Central Narcotics Task Force, according to a news release.

During the investigation, police said, a task force agent arranged three separate undercover crack cocaine buys with Bogard near public places.

Information was not available on how much the agent paid for the drugs or the amount of crack cocaine involved.

"Not only is the arrest of Bogard significant in taking an alleged cocaine dealer off the street, but the arrest takes a self-admitted ... gang member off the street also," Master Sergeant Jeff Kashmier said.

Bogard is being held at the Kane County jail on $750,000 bail.

Prison records show he has served three stints behind bars on other Kane County drug charges.

Most recently, Bogard was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a 2005 drug case. He was paroled in December, state records show.

The most serious charges he now faces are delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the church and parks, Class X felonies punishable by a prison sentence between six and 30 years.

But because he has previous felony convictions, Bogard may qualify for an extended prison sentence of between 30 and 60 years.

  

Cops: St. Charles ecstasy dealer arrested

 

Daily Herald, May 28, 2010

By Josh Stockinger

 

A St. Charles man was arrested after narcotics agents seized more than 100 ecstasy pills from his home, police said Friday.

Justin J. Heneghan, 23, is charged with unlawful possession of ecstasy with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges, according to court records.

Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force said agents searched Heneghan's apartment on the 100 block of Walnut Drive on Thursday and seized more than 100 ecstasy pills, between 30 and 50 grams of marijuana, and assorted drug paraphernalia. The arrest capped a two-month investigation into the distribution of MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy, he said.

Heneghan also was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, attempted escape and resisting police after he attempted to flee while being driven to the Kane County jail, Backus said.

"During transport, he became aggressive and started kicking the agent that was transporting him to the jail," Backus said.

The agent pulled over at Route 64 and Randall Road in St. Charles to "get him under control," Backus said, when Heneghan broke free and ran. After a brief chase, he said, the agent and an off-duty Carol Stream police officer who happened to be in the area took Heneghan back into custody.

Kane County court records show Heneghan has prior convictions for aggravated robbery, resisting police and underage drinking. He was being held in the Kane County jail Friday on a $300,000 bond. His next court date is Friday.

 

 

Woman Arrested In Crystal Lake Heroin Bust


CRYSTAL
LAKE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) 
May 22, 2010 8:15 pm US/Central


 

A Crystal Lake woman will be charged with three felony drug offenses following her arrest during an undercover heroin operation Thursday morning in the northwestern suburb. 

Ellie N. Alexander, 34, is currently hospitalized with non-drug related health issues and will be charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to a release from the North Central Narcotics Task Force. All three charges are felonies.

The NCNTF received information indicating heroin sales were occurring from a home in the 0-100 block of South Caroline Street in Crystal Lake, according to the release. NCNTF agents conducted surveillance on the home, saw suspicious activity and had undercover agents purchase heroin from a resident in front of the home, the release said.

A search warrant was obtained prior to arresting the woman about 11:15 a.m. Thursday, the release said. Additional heroin, U.S. currency and paraphernalia associated with the distribution of heroin were seized.

The total street value of the heroin purchased and seized is about $5,000, the release said. 

"The distribution of heroin in our communities continues to be a serious problem," NCNTF Director Bill Backus said. "We will do everything we can to stop the flow of heroin into McHenry County."

If convicted, Alexander could face a maximum of six years in prison.

 


Brothers Charged in Crystal Lake Drug Sting

 

Northwest Herald, March 23, 2010

By Brett Rowland

CRYSTAL LAKE – Two brothers are facing drug charges following a North Central Narcotics Task Force investigation.

Richard L. Bracken, 30, and Rodney L. Bracken, 32, were arrested Friday. Members of the narcotics fask force, working with officers from the Crystal Lake Police Department, seized about two ounces of heroin, prescription narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and $1,300 in cash from the house at 510 Linn St. The heroin has an estimated street value of $5,000 to $6,000.

Investigators believe heroin was being sold from the home, which is within 1,000 feet of a day care center, said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian. They found more than 40 individual packets of heroin ready for sale. Sebastian described the suspects as "mid-to-upper level dealers."

"That's quite a large amount of heroin," Sebastian said. "We believe they were dealing locally out of the house. A lot of people are going to be hurting and looking elsewhere for drugs."

The task force began investigating the house after getting an anonymous tip through its Web site, www.ncntf.org. Agents made several undercover drug purchases from the suspects at the house, Sebastian said.

Richard L. Bracken was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of a controlled substance. He is being held at the McHenry County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Rodney L. Bracken was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He is being held on $10,000 bond.

The investigation into the drug sales is ongoing and additional arrests are expected, Sebastian said.

Police Report: Aurora man faces felony counts


Beacon News, March 17, 2010

By Staff Writers

Demetrice Kirkwood, 31, of the 1200 block of East Galena Boulevard, Aurora, has been charged with numerous felony drug charges related to the manufacture and delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, according to Kane County Court records.

 

Kirkwood's arrest was the result of an undercover operation by the North Central Illinois Narcotics Task Force Friday, police said. Kirkwood's bail was set at $753,000.

Officials said Kirkwood's bail amount was so high because of his lengthy criminal history stretching back to the 1990s, with arrests for assault, aggravated battery of police and fire officials, criminal trespass, obstruction of justice and various drug-related charges.


Tip leads to $100K drug bust with international flavor

 

Monday, March 1, 2010

By Charles Keeshan - Daily Herald

 

 

Three men who traveled cross country, and a fourth who came from abroad, found themselves locked up in the McHenry County jail Sunday night, accused of taking part in a $100,000 drug deal in Crystal Lake.

 

The arrests came after local police, acting on what they called an "international tip," observed the alleged sale of about 50 pounds of marijuana in a residential part of the city and followed the suspects to the Schaumburg area before arresting them, authorities said.

 

"This was high yield stuff," Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian of the North Central Narcotics Task Force said of the marijuana seized in the arrests. "If (most marijuana) were hamburger, then this was T-bone steak."

 

Arrested were Brian M. Walkosz, 33, of Ukiah, Calif.; Stephen D. Lederman, 30, of Kings Beach, Calif.; Gregory M. Atherton, 29, of Tahoe City, Calif.; and Richard P. Krug, 37, of Costa Rica.

 

All four are charged with delivery and possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana and could face a mandatory six to 30 years in prison if convicted. All but Atherton remained in the county jail Monday afternoon, unable to post the $8,000 bond set for each earlier in the day.

Sebastian said the Krug and Walkosz are childhood friends who grew up together in McHenry County before moving to separate parts of the world. The investigation launched after an Interpol tip, he said, determined that Krug served as a broker to the deal that was to be consummated Sunday night when the four men met Crystal Lake.

 

Lederman, Sebastian said, drove from California, the marijuana stowed in a hidden vehicle compartment. The rest flew into town over the weekend, he said.

 

After observing the suspected transaction, Sebastian said, task force agents and Crystal Lake police tailed the suspects as they drove into Cook County, stopping them eventually near Route 53 and Algonquin Road. Police seized the marijuana and about $8,000 cash during the arrests.

 


CL teen faces charge of dealing drugs near school

 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

By JILLIAN DUCHNOWSKI - jduchnowski@nwherald.com

 

WOODSTOCK – A 19-year-old Crystal Lake man accused of dealing drugs in the driveway outside Crystal Lake Central High School remained in McHenry County Jail Saturday evening.


Jeremy R. Reid, of 145 Illinois St., sold cocaine to an undercover police officer a handful of times on school grounds, said Sgt. Tim Sebastian of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.


He was charged with possessing and delivering a controlled substance in connection with alleged incidents on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15.


“He was not a student there,” Sebastian said. “Why he picked that spot, I don’t know.”


If convicted of the most serious felony, he could be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison.

Reid was arrested Thursday, and he was charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  He was appointed a public defender Friday morning, and his next court date is Thursday. He must post 10 percent of $110,000 to be released while the cases are pending.

North Aurora man charged with growing marijuana

 

Published: 2/11/2010

By Josh Stockinger, Daily Herald Staff

 

Narcotics investigators have arrested a North Aurora man accused of growing marijuana in his home, police said Thursday.

Kenneth M. Gauss, 36, of the 200 block of Larchwood Lane, is charged with cannabis production, possession and possession with intent to deliver, all felonies, according to court records.

Master Sgt. Jeff Kashmier of the Illinois State Police's North Central Narcotics Task Force said Gauss's arrest was the result of a two-month investigation that culminated Wednesday with the execution of a search warrant at his home. He said authorities seized 24 plants and 1,357 grams of cannabis with a combined, estimated street value of $60,000.

Gauss, who appears to have no prior criminal history in Kane County, could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, a Class 2 felony. He was released from the county jail Thursday after posting $4,500. His next court date is March 3.

Algonquin massage parlor worker indicted Prostitution charges


February 14, 2010

By MIKE DANAHEY mdanahey@stmedianetwork.com

An 44-year-old woman was indicted on prostitution charges stemming from a Jan. 21 raid on an Algonquin massage parlor.

According to police, a McHenry County grand jury returned a true bill stating there is sufficient cause to bring Jinfu F. Jin to trial on misdemeanor and felony prostitution charges. The felony charge was made because where Jin worked stands less than 1,000 feet from a school.

Jin remained in custody Friday on a $15,000 bond.

According to police, Jin has an United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold on her, as authorities investigate her immigration and visa status.

While Jin provided a Chinese passport as identification upon her arrest, police said there is a question as to whether Jin is from China or from Korea.

On the night of Jan. 21, police arrested Jin and another woman, who eventually was released, after executing a search warrant at Massage Co., 4093 W. Algonquin Road. Jin has given authorities the business address as her home address.

The parlor was being investigated by the Algonquin Police Department, the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the Illinois State Police after complaints from local residents.

Patrons of nearby businesses and business owners said that the parlor had been open about a year and was one of the first places to open in the strip mall, which stands in front of the Manchester Lakes subdivision. In addition to their suspicions about activity at the parlor, locals said they told police it appeared that some of the workers were living at the business.

Police said that while executing the warrant, they saw that the operation had a video surveillance system, a well-kept bedroom and a kitchen with cooking equipment, food cooking and a well-stocked refrigerator, along with tidy massage rooms, a small sauna and a shower room.

The warrant search came about after an undercover officer entered the establishment earlier that evening. During the course of receiving a massage, police said, Jin offered to perform a sexual act.

Contacted Friday, some locals said that it appeared that Massage Co. had not been open since the incident. Algonquin village officials have said they have not taken any formal steps yet to shut down the business.

 

Indoor pot a growing business

 

February 14, 2010

By JILLIAN DUCHNOWSKI - jduchnowski@nwherald.com

 

McHenry County Sheriff’s police already have seized more marijuana plants in indoor grow operations this year than they did in all of 2008.

They busted a dozen houses last year and seized a total of 2,188 plants, including the 1,438 plants found in a McHenry rental home, said Sgt. John Koziol of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. So far this year, sheriff’s police have found 335 plants in three homes compared with the 120 plants they found in two indoor operations during 2008.


Federal and county authorities said drug trafficking had increased overall throughout northern Illinois. Marijuana – including the potent and more expensive marijuana typical of indoor grow operations – remained prevalent, although heroin use increased enough in recent years to cause an alarming number of fatal overdoses, authorities said.

McHenry County’s relatively rural nature and proximity to Chicago made it attractive for marijuana growers, said Brian Besser, the resident agent-in-charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Rockford Resident Office. Some of the produce is smoked locally, but some of it is distributed far beyond the county borders.

“There’s no doubt that McHenry County-sourced marijuana is being distributed across the United States,” Besser said.


Instructions and advice for setting up these types of operations are readily available online, and the needed equipment is available at many gardening stores, said Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian of the North Central Narcotics Task Force. But the growers themselves were much more sophisticated than stereotypes from the 1970s of a few college-aged kids growing marijuana to share with their friends.

Marijuana is a profitable cash crop. An ounce of marijuana – about a third of a sandwich bag – cost about $50 in the 1970s but would go for $250 to $500 now, Sebastian said. Indoor marijuana growers can produce better marijuana by tightly controlling the growing environment and make more money than they would using imported marijuana.

“‘I’m basically cutting out the middle-man,’” Sebastian said, speaking of a hypothetical indoor marijuana grower. “‘I’m becoming the manufacturer and the distributor, which is more money in my pocket.’”

The North Central Narcotics Task Force confiscated 46 plants from two locations in McHenry County last year. Besides the indoor grows, McHenry County sheriff’s police found 7,744 marijuana plants at five outdoor locations last year, down from 10,099 plants at eight outdoor farms in 2008, Koziol said.

Some area indoor marijuana farms included plants at various stages of growth and a separate area for creating new sprouts from clippings from a high-quality plant, authorities said. Police also seized processed marijuana at area grow houses.

Overall, the North Central Narcotics Task Force seized 92,436 grams, or about 203 pounds, of processed marijuana in McHenry County last year. The sheriff’s office confiscated about 1,561 pounds of marijuana, including 1,464 pounds seized on a semi-trailer near Huntley in December. That was up from 28 pounds in 2008 for the sheriff’s office.


Sheriff’s police seized 65 grams of heroin last year, up from 53 grams in 2008, and the North Central Narcotics Task Force seized trace amounts of heroin in two instances in McHenry County. However, heroin users typically drive to Chicago or Rockford to buy an amount they plan to use quickly, Koziol said.

“The people we talk to on the street are telling us [heroin is] the drug of choice now,” said Koziol.


Authorities also see a fair amount of cocaine and prescription drug abuse, but methamphetamine, a scourge in downstate Illinois, barely made an appearance here, police said. The North Central Narcotics Task Force seized about 800 grams of cocaine last year in McHenry County, while the sheriff’s office confiscated 1,181 grams in 2009, down from 3,074 grams in 2008.

McHenry County Sheriff’s narcotics leaders said they were expecting to seize more illegal drugs this year than last year. The narcotics officers have used 10 search warrants so far this year after executing 30 search warrants in 2009, Koziol said.

The sheriff’s office also recently formalized a partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Rockford. The partnership involves sharing investigative information and having at least two sheriff’s deputies sworn in as federal agents, as well as a federal agent stationed in McHenry County.

But Sebastian, of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, cautioned that the amount of drugs police confiscate could have more to do with where in the sales cycle they catch drug dealers than with overall drug traffic. He estimated that the task force confiscated a similar amount of illicit drugs in 2007 and 2008.

Typical signs of a marijuana grow house

• Infrequent visitors to a seemingly unoccupied house

• No snow on the home’s roof

• Signs of tampering with an electric meter or stealing electricity from neighbors

Windows open in the winter

• Covered windows

• Mold on the outside of the house

• A large amount of garbage

Report suspicions or tips to:

• North Central Narcotics Task Force at www.ncntf.org

• McHenry County Sheriff’s investigators at 815-334-4750

• McHenry County CrimeStoppers can be reached anonymously at 800-762-7867. E-mails can also be sent to tipline@co.mchenry.il.us.



Bonds set at $750K for two charged with marijuana possession

 

January 26, 2010

By DANA HERRA - dherra@daily-chronicle.com

 

SYCAMORE – Bond was set Monday at $750,000 each for two men involved in a Saturday evening shooting police have called “a prearranged drug deal that went bad.”

Genardo D. Delatorre, 22, of the 500 block of East Abe Street in Plano, and Alfredo Perez, 20, of the 1400 block of Chestnut in Yorkville, have each been charged with possession of marijuana, a Class 1 felony, and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class X felony.

Police said they received a 911 call about 4:50 p.m. Saturday reporting injuries from gunfire. According to court documents, Delatorre and Perez had been at a residence in the 12400 block of Waterman Road in rural Waterman when the shots were fired, striking Perez in the shoulder and leg as well as striking his car. The men drove to a gas station in Shabbona and called police.

Perez’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he appeared at Monday’s bond hearing via closed-circuit video from the DeKalb County Jail. Delatorre was not injured and also appeared via closed-circuit video.

According to court documents, police found about 32 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of $145,500, in the bed of a pickup truck inside a garage on the rural Waterman property. Identical reports in each man’s court file said investigators believe Delatorre and Perez drove the drugs from Aurora to Waterman, then moved them from Perez’s car to the truck, intending them for sale.

The incident is being investigated by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb City Police, North Central Narcotics Task Force, Waterman Police, and Waterman and Shabbona fire departments, according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Roger Scott said the investigation is progressing and more arrests are expected.

Class 1 felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and Class X felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Delatorre and Perez are both due back in court on Thursday for a status hearing.


Prostitution Arrest at Algonquin Massage Parlor

 

January 22, 2010

By Charles Keeshan

 

An employee at Algonquin massage parlor is facing a felony prostitution charge after her arrest Thursday night on allegations she offered an undercover police officer more than Swedish or Shiatsu.

Jinfu F. Jin, 44, of Algonquin, is accused of offering to perform a sex act for the officer who was in the business as part of an investigation into ongoing complaints about it from its neighbors and others.

The charge normally is a misdemeanor, but authorities upgraded it to a Class 4 felony because the business, Massage Co., in the 4000 block of West Algonquin Road, is near a child-care center. She was in custody Friday at the McHenry County jail, unable to post 10 percent of a $15,000 bond.

Police also are questioning a second woman working at the parlor, but she has not been charged at this time. A patron inside the business when police made the arrest was not charged because there was not enough evidence to prove he was doing something illegal, said Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Sebastian said Algonquin police asked his agency to assist with an investigation launched in December after the department received numerous complaints of suspicious activity at the parlor, which is in a strip mall near the day care center, as well as an ice cream shop, karate school and cooking store.

"We performed surveillance and noticed it was all male clientele going in, which isn't illegal but it caught our attention," he said.

On Thursday evening, an undercover officer went into the business for a massage, during which, Sebastian said, Jin propositioned him. The officer left and task force agents later entered with a search warrant to arrest Jin. Officers also discovered condoms, lubricants and numerous items indicating both women made the business their residence as well as workplace, authorities said.

Calls to Massage Co. were not being answered Friday and a sign outside the business said it was closed.

Jin, Sebastian said, is a Chinese national who was in the country with a passport and visa. Because of the living arrangements inside the business, he added, the task force is working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to determine whether the women might be the victims of human trafficking.

The owner of the business, he said, has yet to be identified.

Jin, who is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 29, could be sentenced to one to three years in prison, or probation, if convicted of felony prostitution.

Algonquin Site of Cocaine Bust

January 13, 2010
By AMBER KROSEL -
akrosel@nwherald.com

ALGONQUIN – An Algonquin couple was charged this week for allegedly operating an illegal drug trafficking ring in and around several downtown taverns.

Michael A. Cherbak, 44, and Jody A. Martin, 43, both of 904 Mohican Drive, remained in McHenry County Jail Wednesday night. They were arrested on Tuesday following a five-month investigation, which included several undercover purchases of controlled substances in the downtown Algonquin area.

The investigation was initiated in September 2009 after North Central Narcotics Task Force agents and the Algonquin Police Department received tips about the trafficking. Illinois State Police also assisted in the investigation.

On Tuesday, agents seized several ounces of cocaine and marijuana, hypodermic syringes, drug paraphernalia and $1,000 in cash. The amount of cocaine was valued at more than $10,000, and marijuana at more than $2,000, said North Central Narcotics Task Force Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian.

Much of the undercover activity occurred at Bullwinkle's on South Main Street, but Sebastian said police were "not implicating the business in the charges."

Cherbak was charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of marijuana, and obstructing justice.

The highest charge – delivery of a controlled substance – is a Class X felony, punishable with between six to 30 years in prison. Cherbak's bond was set at $150,000 Wednesday.

Martin was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $10,000.

The investigation is ongoing and police said they expect additional arrests in the near future.

Residents with any additional information should call the North Central Narcotics Task Force at 847-961-6747 or visit www.ncntf.org.

 

7 Nabbed in Online Sex Sting


January 5, 2010

By MATT HANLEY

 

AURORA — Although seven more people were arrested in another sting that targeted the online classified ads prostitution trade, Aurora police believe their investigations may be making a dent.

The recent sting targeted the erotic sections of Craigslist and Backpage.com.

Two men and five women were charged with solicitation of a sexual act after they either responded to an ad posted by Aurora police, or posted their own ads offering sex, police said. Officers responded to the offers for sex and set up meetings at a far West Side hotel, where the suspects were arrested. (Police are not naming the hotel, citing the business' cooperation with the investigation.)

The operation took place Wednesday night and lasted into the early morning hours of New Year's Eve, police said.

The erotic ads posted on Web sites have long been a target of Aurora police. In January of 2009, Aurora police charged 10 people in a similar bust.

City of Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said despite the latest arrests, people continue to post fairly explicit ads on the Web sites.

"It's pretty clear what the ads are offering," Ferrelli said. "The bottom line of these types of operations is to get this type of behavior to stop in the city limits. And to a large extent we've been successful."

Obviously, it's difficult to measure the number of people who did not participate in a crime because of Aurora's investigations. But Ferrelli said in the most recent sting, one person talking to an undercover officer refused to come to Aurora because they knew police conducted online investigations.

"To that end, that shows these operations are making a difference," Ferrelli said.

Ferrelli said the department will continue to investigate and prosecute these online meetings.

"It's not good for the image of the city, and it's certainly not good for the people who participate in these activities," he said.

Sometimes people who respond to erotic services ads become victims of robberies, attacks or sexual assaults, Ferrelli said.Police said the following people were charged with solicitation of a sexual act last week:

Gordon Luedtke, 48, 32W000 block of Church Hill Lane, Wayne; Rafael Medrano (also known as Sandra Medrano), 34, 1100 block of Lebanon Street, Aurora; Kathleen Szarowicz, 23, of Grandville, Mich.; Nicole Deuchler, 29, 1000 block of Fenton Street, Aurora; Victoria Clausen, 20, 200 block of Nippert Avenue, Romeoville; Heather Kroner, 21, of Van Buren, Ark.; and Wendy Negron, 34, 2500 block of South Finley Road, Lombard.

Aurora investigators were assisted by Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force.

  


Kane
County crack dealer gets 10 years


Daily Herald, December 11,2009

By Josh Stockinger

 

A Chicago man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for dealing crack cocaine in Kane County.

David J. Johnson, 38, pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and was sentenced in a plea deal accepted by Judge Thomas E. Mueller. He had faced up to 30 years for the Class X felony.

Johnson was one of two Chicago men arrested in early September after selling cocaine to narcotics agents in Aurora twice over the summer, police said. Co-defendant Michael A. Mattix, 46, has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Jan. 15.

Police at the North Central Narcotics Task Force have said Johnson and Mattix routinely dealt cocaine in the Western suburbs and were arrested in Lisle after failing to show up for an undercover drug buy. In addition to prison time, Johnson was ordered to pay about $6,500 in court fines and costs, according to court records.

Mattix remained in the county jail with bond set at $150,000.


Elgin
man charged in $5M pot bust


The Courier News, December 8, 2009

By STEVEN ROSS JOHNSON


ST. CHARLES
-- An Elgin man is among six men set to appear in a Kane County court this week to face charges in what authorities have called one of the largest drug busts within the area in recent memory.

William Santana, 41, of the 800 block of Waverly Drive, was charged last month with one count of cannabis trafficking as the result of a five-month, multi-agency investigation that led to the seizure of about 2,300 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $5 million.

He remained in custody Monday in the Kane County jail, with bail set at $1 million.

"In my recollection, this one of the largest," Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti said Monday about the size of the seizure. "To my knowledge, this is one of the largest that Kane County's been involved in."

Among the others charged was Huntley resident Joseph Lichay, 48, of the 113 block of Fleetwood Street, who also remained in custody Monday. His bail has been set at $10 million.

The arrests were the culmination of an investigation that began in July and was led by the North Central Narcotics Task Force. The multi-agency unit investigates drug, firearm and gang offenses in Kane, DeKalb and McHenry counties.

The NCNTF's director, Master Sgt. Bill Backus, said seizures were made at two locations in Elk Grove Village on Nov. 23. The first was conducted at a parking lot in the 900 block of Busse Road, where Backus said about 700 pounds of pot were discovered.

Backus said the rest was found at a warehouse in the 2200 block of Landmeier Road. Eight vehicles and about $480,000 in cash also were seized.

Backus said the pot allegedly was transported to the area from Mexico -- similar amounts have been smuggled into the area for years -- and was intended to be distributed throughout the Chicago area.

"The group of individuals that are currently charged -- as well as additional individuals that are going to be indicted at a statewide grand jury with the Attorney General's office later this week -- were part of an ongoing drug trafficking organization responsible for what we allege (was) distributing amounts of cannabis in this range repeatedly," he said. "This is just one shipment -- we are alleging that this has happened on repeated occasions over a long period of time."

Santana and Lichay are both to appear in court Friday. If convicted, each man could face between 12 and 60 years in prison and fines of up to $400,000.

Also charged were Edwardo Alanis-Garcia, 43, of the 200 block of North Street, Melrose Park, with bail set at $5 million; Jose Arriaga, 36, of the 9700 block of South Commercial, Chicago, with bail at $10 million; Fabricio Mendiola, 36, of the 3000 block of South Eves, Chicago, with bail at $5 million; and Santos Nuñez, 48, last known address on Calumet Street, Chicago, with bail at $5 million.


 

Kane County pot bust lands six in jail

 
Northwest Herald, December 7, 2009
By AMBER KROSEL

 

A Huntley man and five others have been charged in running a multimillion-dollar marijuana trafficking ring out of Kane County.

A five-month investigation by local, state and federal agencies led to the seizure of more than one ton of marijuana with a street value of more than $5 million, as well as the arrests of the following:

• Joseph Lichay, 48, of the 113 block of Fleetwood St., Huntley.
• Jose Arriaga, 36, of the 9700 block of South Commercial, Chicago.
• Edwardo Alanis-Garcia, 43, of the 200 block of North Street, Melrose Park.
• Fabricio Mendiola, 36, of the 3000 block of South Eves, Chicago.
• Santos Nunez, 48, of a last known address on Calumet Street, Chicago.
• William Santana, 41, of the 800 block of Waverly, Elgin.

Bail has been set at $10 million for Lichay and Arriaga, and $5 million each for Alanis-Garcia, Mendiola and Nunez. Santana remained in Kane County jail Monday with bond set at $100,000.

Each is charged with one count of marijuana trafficking, a Class X felony punishable with a sentence of between 12 and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and up to a $400,000 fine.

The North Central Narcotics Task Force investigation culminated with the Nov. 23 seizure of 2,300 pounds of marijuana with an approximate street value of $5.2 million, eight vehicles, and about $480,000 in cash.

The investigation began in July and included the efforts of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

Authorities believe that the seizure is one of the largest resulting from an investigation into suspects living in Kane County, according to a news release. It is alleged that the men were involved in a scheme to bring the marijuana to the Chicago area for distribution.

The case remains under investigation.

The six will next appear in court this week from Tuesday through Friday at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles.


 

Man pleads not guilty to dealing crack in Aurora

 

Daily Herald, November 19, 2009

By Josh Stockinger

 

A Chicago has pleaded not guilty to charges he sold drugs to undercover officers in the Western suburbs.

Michael A. Mattix, 46, of the 1900 block of North Sayre Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday in front of Kane County Judge Thomas E. Mueller, who set his next court date for Dec. 11.

Mattix was one of two Chicago men arrested in early September on charges of calculated criminal drug conspiracy and cocaine possession and delivery.

Officials at the North Central Narcotics Task Force say Mattix and his co-defendant, David J. Johnson, 37, routinely dealt crack cocaine in the suburbs and sold it to narcotics agents in Aurora twice over the summer. The two were arrested in Lisle after they failed to show up for a third drug buy, police said.

Calculated criminal drug conspiracy is a Class X felony with a standard sentencing range of six to 30 years in prison.

Both men remained in the county jail Thursday on $150,000 bonds. Johnson, who hasn't entered a plea yet, returns to court Dec. 4.



Schaumburg man charged in Kane drug deal

 

Daily Herald, June 4, 2009

By Josh Stockinger

 

A Schaumburg man has been arrested on charges he sold ecstasy to an undercover narcotics agent, police said Thursday.

Justin B. Altergott, 18 of the 500 block of Chase Court, was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Monday in a parking lot on Randall Road in Elgin.

Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force said Altergott sold 50 ecstasy pills with a street value of about $1,500 to a narcotics investigator.

Altergott was charged with two felony counts of manufacturing 15 to 200 ecstasy pills, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, court records show.

He was being held in the Kane County jail Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court June 12 before Judge James C. Hallock.


Police: St. Charles women sold pot to cops


Daily Herald, June 4, 2009

By John Stockinger

A St. Charles woman faces multiple felony drug charges after selling a quarter-pound of marijuana to an undercover narcotics agent, police said Thursday.

Charity R. Sund, 36, of the 1900 block of Wessel Court, was arrested about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday after carrying out a drug deal in a business parking lot along Randall Road in South Elgin, said Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Backus, who estimated the drugs’ street value at $800, said it was one of several occasions in which Sund sold drugs to undercover police in recent months.

“The investigation is ongoing, and additional arrests are expects,” he said.  Sund is charged with three counts of marijuana delivery between 30 and 50 grams, and two counts of marijuana delivery between 10 and 30 grams, court records show.

If convicted of the most serious offense, Sund could be sentenced to two to five years in prison of up to two and a half years probation.

Bond information for Sund was not available Thursday afternoon.  She was being held in the county jail pending a June 18 court appearance before Kane County Judge Patricia P. Golden.


Forum fills parents in on dangerous kids face

 

The Beacon News, April 20, 2009

By Charloette Norgaard

 

Society has changed quite a bit since today’s parents were once middle and high school students.

“What’s the Buzz,” a forum this month in Geneva, gave parents the chance to see and hear firsthand the temptations out there for today’s youth.

Sponsored by Geneva Coalition for Youth, the forum was designed to update parents on drugs of choice for area youth, the teen party scene and the use and abuse of energy drinks.

Many parents typically don’t see the danger in the use of energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster because they do not realize that many of these drinks contain larges amounts of caffeine and other stimulants that are not good for bodies that are still developing.

“We thing this is safer the drinking (alcohol), but their not really very good for us,” said Mary Zupke, a registered dietician for Delnor Hospital.

Although not typically viewed as dangerous, caffeine does have negative side effects including slowing of brain activity, stomach upset and anxiety.

“We don’t really know that much about the effects of caffeine.  We need to view is as a drug now,” said Zupke, who added that certain energy drinks, which are sold in much larger containers than a typical can of soda, also contain alcohol.

Stronger drugs

Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force told parents that today’s illegal drugs are much stringer than 20 years ago,

“It’s not the weed from Woodstock,” he said. “It’s much more potent and more different.”

Backus said that overdoses from drugs like cocaine and heroin occur with higher purity levels.

So what can a parent do? Establish clear expectations on tobacco, alcohol, drugs and technology, and set consequences in advance for violation of these expectations, the experts advised. 

In addition, get savvy with today’s technology, and get involved when a child goes to a party of sleepover by calling the host in advance to ensure that the party will be properly supervised, walk children to the door when dropping them off, and even stop by later with a treat to make sure a child is in a safe environment.

“It’s a great way to make sure your kids are safe,” said Julie Poulily a member of the Geneva Coalition for Youth.


Cocaine, fake cash seized in Crystal Lake home.

 

Northwest Herald, March 27, 2009

By Amber Krosel

 

Crystal Lake – More than a half-kilogram of cocaine and $14,000 in fake cash were seized Wednesday morning from a Crystal Lake home, authorities said.

About 7:45 a.m., members of the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force and Crystal Lake police executed a search warrant at 751 Savannah Lane in Crystal Lake.  The warrant was a result of information obtained by task force that the home’s residents were involved in drug trafficking, according to a news release.

The search uncovered more than $51,000 of cocaine in street value, numerous drug paraphernalia items, and more than $1,600 in cash.

An additional $14,000 in counterfeit money also was found, as well as three pistols – one of which has been reported stolen from McHenry.

One subject – whom police did not identify Wednesday – was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. 

An Illinois State Police Tactical Response Team also assisted with the search.

The Investigation remains ongoing.


Aurora arrests lead to major ecstasy distribution bust


Beacon News Staff, March 27, 2009

By (?)

 

What started with an undercover drug sale in Aurora has led to a huge ecstasy bust ensnared suspects in two countries and four states, law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Police are calling the arrest a major blow to the trafficking of ecstasy in several parts of the Midwest.

On March 11, Phanthip Thepavong of Aurora and Somsak “Sock” Keovilaysone of Rockford were arrested after delivering 20,000 ecstasy pills to an undercover agent in Aurora, according to the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force.

Two 22-year-old men who delivered the drugs from Canada to Thephavong were also arrested, police said.  Hong Kep Nanthavong and Seng Doune Phanthalavone of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, were charged with conspiracy to deliver ecstasy.

The Aurora arrests were conducted by the North Central Narcotics Task Force in conjunction with the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.  They dubbed the effort “Operation Dirty Sock,” an undercover investigation that lasted 18 months.

At 6 a.m. March 12 – the morning after the Aurora sale – the arrest phase of the operation initialed with search warrants and “knock and talk” encounters in North Aurora and West Chicago, as well as Milwaukee, Wis.; Symyrna and Rockville, Tenn.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Ontario, Canada.

In total, about 42,900 ecstasy pills were recovered in the operation, authorities said.

In addition to the ecstasy pills that were seized during the undercover aspect of the investigation, police recovered 20,000 ecstasy pills, four handguns and a quarter kilogram of cocaine in Aurora; 18,000 ecstasy pills in St. Petersburg; 2,000 ecstasy pills in the Nashville; plus several pistols, an assault rifle and vehicles, police said.

According to police, the arrest dealt a major blow to the flow of ecstasy into the Aurora and Rockford areas, as well as Milwaukee, St. Petersburg and Nashville.  More arrested are expected in the near future.



North Aurora man charged with coke, ecstasy possession.


Dailey Herald, March 13, 2009

By Josh Stockinger

 

A North Aurora man was charged with multiple drug offenses after narcotics investigators searched his home, police said Friday.

Sonedaophet N. Thephavong, 28, of the 1400 block of Oakland Circle, is charged with manufacturing and possession of 15 to 200 ecstasy pills and 15 to 100 grams of cocaine, according to Kane County Circuit Court records.

Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force said Thephavong was apprehended about 6:30a.m. Thursday after his home was search as part of an “ongoing multi-jurisdictional, multi-state operation.” He declined further comment.

The arrest took place one day after police announced the seizure of more than 20 pounds of marijuana and a kilogram of cocaine from the home of two other North Aurora men, who were subsequently charged.

Court records show Thephavong was sentenced twice in 2001 to 18 months of conditional discharge for marijuana possession and driving under the influence convictions stemming form incidents is Elburn.  In 2002, he was put on six months of probation for another marijuana possession conviction in Aurora.

Thephavong was being held in the county jail Friday.  Bail information wasn’t immediately available.

If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison, with the possibility of an extended term because of his criminal history.


Alleged dealer known as ‘Mailbox’ gets 8 years

 

Northwest  Herald, March 1, 2009

By: Staff Writer

 

Woodstock – A 28-year-old Chicago man was sentenced to eight years in prison for having 23 cocaine rocks and 190 grams of marijuana April 30 in a Woodstock home.

Ishamal Bailey also was ordered Friday to pay a fine of $4,950, the street value of those drugs.  He faced between six and 30 years in prison after Judge Joseph Condon convicted him last month of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a park.

Prosecutors said Bailey, known as “Mailbox”, and another drug dealer were taking advantage of the drug addicts who rented the house at 527 Burbank Ave.

At Bailey’s sentencing hearing Friday, prosecutors said his only legitimate work history was three months as an apprentice for a sheet-metal workers’ union.  Police reports show Bailey had at times possessed drugs dating back to November 1997, when he was arrested with seven bags of cocaine after waling across a school playground in Cook County.

“We have a defendant who has no concern for other people, and no respect for the lay”, Assistant State’s Attorney Dave Johnston said.

Prosecutors asked for a 17 year sentence.

Special Public Defender Richard Kelly argued that prosecutors illustrated that they didn’t take the cocaine- and marijuana-possession charges in this case seriously by offering two co-defendants who testified against Bailey probation.

“No one was hurt in this case”, Kelly said, “…There were no actual sales of drugs in this case.”

Condon, however, said that drugs are dangerous- for those who take them, those who deal them, and those who try to apprehend offenders involved with drugs.

Bailey’s older brother asked Condon to consider a religious, community based program, but Condon told him that was outside the mandated prison sentencing range.

Drug-Possession charges remain pending against the other drug dealer prosecutors mentioned in connection with the April 30 bust. Rahim Conda, 28, of Chicago, is next due in court March 18.


Parolee drug check leads to charges against 3


Beacon News Staff (Sun Times), February 25, 2009
By: Staff Writer

 

Early Tuesday morning, officers from five different law enforcement agencies decided to make an unannounced visit to 50 parolees in Aurora.

At 5 am, officers from Aurora, state police, the U.S. Marshall Task Force, the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the Illinois prison system contacted 50 parolees – bring 21 to the Aurora police station, according to a press release.

Of the 21 parolees brought in, 13 tested positive for illegal use of drugs, police said.  It was not clear whether those people were charged with additional crimes.

Three men were arrested after the compliance check:

• Derrick Shamley, 28, of Aurora, who was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a previous driving while license revoked arrest, police said.

•Johnathan Ibister, 29, of Aurora, was charged with possession of marijuana after he was found to be in possession of approximately 6 grams of marijuana at his home, police said.

•Rafael Valenzuela, 25, of Aurora, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon after police found about 399 pills of Ecstasy, nearly 300 grams of cocaine, and a loaded semi-automatic handgun at his home, police said.

Full addresses were not available.

The Illinois Department of Corrections frequently conducts compliance checks to ensure that parolees meet the requirements of parole, police said.  All parolees, when released from prison, are given conditions which they are required to follow.

Agents meet with parolees face-to-face to ensure these requirements are being met, police said.


Downtown St. Charles pharmacist indicted

 

Daily Herald, December 15, 2008

By Josh Stockinger

 

A prominent pharmacist whose family drugstore was a mainstay of downtown St. Charles for decades has been indicted on charges he illegally obtained and sold prescription medications, authorities announced Monday.

Mark L. Burger, 41, of the 1400 block of Melbourne Street, Elburn, was indicted by a Kane County grand jury Friday on multiple felony counts of unlawfully acquiring, possessing and delivering controlled substances.  He surrendered to the Illinois State Police at the St. Charles Police Department Monday morning and was released on a $10,000 bond.

A former chief pharmacist at Burger Drugs, Burger is accused of dealing pharmaceuticals containing methadone, an opiate commonly used to treat heroin addiction, and the opiate pain killer hydrocodone between January 2006 and last April.  If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Earlier this year, the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force seized large amounts of prescriptions drugs from Burger’s home near Blackberry Creek Elementary School and his family’s pharmacy, 9 E. Main St., according to court filings.

In June, Burger agreed to have his pharmacy license indefinitely suspended because of the investigation.  The pharmacy closed in July after 70 years in business, the owner, Burger’s father, said then it had nothing to do with the son.

Burger is due in court Jan. 7. His attorney, Gary Johnson, declined to comment Monday.


Pharmacist Charged With Stealing, Dealing Drugs

 

CBS 2 Chicago, December 15, 2008

 

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (STNG) – A west suburban pharmacist turned himself in to police Monday after being charged with illegally possessing and delivering prescription drugs originally sold legally to the pharmacy where he worked.

Mark L. Burger, 41, of the 1400 block of Melbourne Street in Elburn, was indicted Friday by a Kane County grand jury on three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, three counts of unlawful possession, two counts of unlawful acquisition of a controlled substance and one count each of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and unlawful possession with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney office.  Two of the charges are Class X felonies.

Following the indictment, a warrant for Burger’s arrest was issued, including a $100,000 bond, the release said.  Burger surrendered Monday at the St. Charles Police Dept., posted 10 percent bail, surrendered his FOID card and was released.

Prosecutors allege that between January 2006 and April 2008 Burger at various times illegally possessed a large amount of controlled substances containing methadone and hydrocodone with the intent to deliver, the release said.  State’s attorney’s office spokesman Chris Nelson said Burger worked as a pharmacist at his parents’ business, Burger Drugs, Inc., at 9 E. Main St. in St. Charles.

In March 2008, Burger illegally obtained and possessed in his house, near Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School, a controlled substance containing methadone that he intended to deliver, prosecutors allege.  And in February 2008 he illegally acquired and delivered a controlled substance containing hydrocodone.

Illinois law dictates that for a controlled substance to be lawfully possessed it must be kept at an address registered with the U.S. DEA and to be lawfully distributed, it must be in a properly marked container and must be prescribed by a doctor.  Nelson said he believes Burger has been stripped of his pharmacist’s license.

The severities of the chargers vary because of the amount and types of a controlled substances involved in the different incidents.  If convicted of the most serious charges, Burger could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, the release said.

His initial court appearance will be at 9 a.m. Jan. 7 in Courtroom 305 in front of Circuit Judge T. Jordan Gallagher in St. Charles.


Cops send another McHenry County field up in smoke


 
Chicago Tribune, McHenry County, August 28, 2008
By Staff Writer

 Another McHenry County marijuana field was destroyed Thursday as authorities continued to uncover large-scale growing operations, sheriff’s police said.

The cultivated marijuana found Wednesday in a wooded area near Illinois Highway 173 and Altenberg Road, about a mile northeast of Harvard, was the second this week and the fourth in about a month.

We’re in the process of eradicating a field,” sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Zinke said Thursday afternoon.  “We’re estimating about 4,000 plants.”

ZInke said the plants were 6 to 8 feet and some tents were found near the field.  No one was arrested.  The estimated value of the plants was $4 million, Zinke said.

Zinke said police are working with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Central Narcotics Task Force, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and McHenry County Conservation District police.

He said the marijuana was spotted during a helicopter survey.  Earlier Wednesday, authorities destroyed about 1,200 marijuana plants, with an estimated value of $1.2 million, which were found growing in a field near Harvard.  Two other fields were found in late July near Hebron.


Crystal Lake man, driver arrested in cocaine bust

 

Daily Herald, August 4, 2008

By Charles Keeshan

 

A 24-year-old Crystal Lake man remain behind bars Monday at the McHenry County jail, facing a dozen of felony charges alleging he sold cocaine to an undercover narcotics agent 4 times since June, at times just across the street from a local church.

Alberto Salazar, 320 Van Buren, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges stemming from an investigation that began several weeks ago with an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers.

Members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force arrested Salazar on Friday when, according to court documents, he arrived at an arranged drug transaction outside Crystal Lake convenience store with 28 grams of cocaine, valued at about $1,400.

The store is located across the street from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

Arrested with him was his roommate, Jesus A. Callejas, 24, who faces six felony drug charges stemming from two alleged cocaine sales to an undercover officer.  Task Force Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian said Callejas served as Salazar’s driver.  Callejas too faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if found guilty of all charges. 

In all, court documents state, authorities seized 108.5 grams cocaine, worth about $5,425, during the investigation. 

Both men are in custody unable to post a $10,000 cash bond.  They are scheduled to appear in court later this week.


Nine arrested on drug-related charges

 

Northwest Herald, May 2, 2008

By David Fitzgerald

 

WOODSTOCK – Eight adults and one juvenile were arrested on various drug related charges in what one official called a “neighborhood drug house.”

Woodstock police and the Illinois State Police – North Central Narcotics Task Force said they found heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana with a combined street value of $6,500 when they searched the house at 527 Burbank Ave., Woodstock, on Wednesday morning.

The raid was the culmination of a month-long investigation of the house that included undercover officers buying drugs inside and outside of the house, NCNTF Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian said.

Sebastian said that the home was being rented by Crystal D. Ury, 39, for the past three months.  Sebastian called the home a “neighborhood drug house.”

Ury faces one felony and three misdemeanor drug charges and one charge of child endangerment, and could be sentenced to up to three years in prison if convicted.

Others charged were:

-Ishmal C. Bailey, 27, could face up to 30 years in prison for a host of charges including possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a public park.

-Christopher J. Ury, 22, could face up to three years on drug and child-endangerment charges. He also was wanted on a warrant out of Cook County for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

-Rahim B. Conda, 28, could face up to 15 years in prison on multiple drug-related felony charges as well as a child-endangerment charge.  He was on parole through the Illinois Department of Corrections.

-Ashlei L. Greisz, 23, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of hypodermic syringes.  She could face up to three years in prison.

-Shania A. Fields, 22, could face up to 15 years in prison on various drug-related charges.

-Amber M. Kumm, 21, could face up to 15 years in prison on drug charges.

-Reva M. Ury, 18, could face up to 15 years in prison on drug charges.

-A 14-year-old female also was taken into custody and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Oscar A. Fernandez-Cortez, 25, was held on an immigration violation.

All listed the Woodstock home as their address.

Three juveniles between the ages 2 and 5 were removed from the home and place with relatives.  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will conduct an investigation.


NSP helps bust Illinois marijuana operation, from the Nebraska State Patrol Headquarters in Lincoln

 

The North Platte Telegraph, March 3, 2008

By Staff Writer

 

LINCOLN – A traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Lincoln led to the seizure of several marijuana plants and the discovery of a marijuana-growing operation in DeKalb, Ill.

Around 8:17 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol stopped a westbound white, 1998 Mercury Sable with Illinois plates for speeding on Interstate 80, near the 56th Street exit in Lancaster County.  The trooper received consent to search the vehicle.  The search led to the seizure of four marijuana plants, marijuana less than one ounce, and drug paraphernalia. 

Further investigation revealed pictures on a digital camera of what appeared to be an indoor marijuana grow operation containing approximately 25-30 marijuana plants.  The information suggested the illegal growing operation was contained in a residence in DeKalb.

Contact was made with the Illinois State Police North Central Drug Task Force and a search warrant was obtained for the residence in DeKalb.  The search warrant executed by the Illinois State Police on Friday, February 29, led to the seizure of a marijuana-growing operation consisting of about 200 marijuana plants.

“This is a good example of how a traffic stop can lead to the discovery of criminal activity,” said Traffic Services Major Russel Stanczyk.  “These officers used their investigative skills to shut down further drug trafficking.  We’d like to thank the Illinois authorities for their help in dismantling this marijuana-growing operation.”

The driver of the vehicle Daniel Ward, 24, of Sycamore, Ill., and a passenger in the vehicle Will Blaser, 21, of DeKalb, were both lodged in the Lancaster County Jail on charges of harvesting marijuana, possession of marijuana less than an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The pair is also awaiting extradition to Illinois on charges related to the marijuana-growing operation.


Two arrested for pot production

 

Daily Chronicle, March 5, 2008

By Benji Feldheim

 

Two local men who were arrested in Nebraska last week now have charges pending against them for growing marijuana in a home in DeKalb, police said.

Daniel Ward, 24, of Sycamore and Will Blaser, 21 of DeKalb were driving west on I-80 in Lancaster County around 8:15 p.m. Thursday when troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol reportedly stopped them for speeding. 

A search of their car led to the recovery of four marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia and less than an ounce of processed marijuana, according to a news release by the NSP.  A digital camera was also found, and pictures on the camera reportedly showed what appeared to be an indoor growing operation of 25-30 marijuana plants.

Early Friday morning, the North Central Narcotics Task Force in Illinois was granted a search warrant for a residence in the 800 block of Market Street in DeKalb, according to a release from the NCNTF.  During the search, police seized 103 marijuana plants, enough to produce $200,000 worth of the drug, the release said.  Police also reportedly recovered 84 grams of processed marijuana.

Ward and Blaser were charged in Lancaster County were with harvesting marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Other charges in DeKalb County include possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class 3 felony, but have not yet been filed, according to NCNTF Director Joseph Perez.

The men are being held in Lancaster County Jail pending transfer to DeKalb County.

Calls to the NSP had not been returned as of Wednesday morning.

 


Raid leads to drug charges

 

Northwest Herald, March 7, 2008

By Tim Kane

 

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Police arrested a 19-year-old Lake in the Hills resident today and confiscated more than a pound of marijuana, 10 ecstasy tablets, three firearms and $11,000.

Members of a county narcotics task force, assisted by village police officers, raided the home of Christian Melendez, 315 E. Oak St., where he lived with his parents.  Charges against Melendez include possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.  The marijuana and the ecstasy pills had a street value of $6,000, police said.

Melendez had in his possession a .38-caliber semi-automatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun, but did not have the required Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification, said Tim Sebastian, a master sergeant with the North Central Narcotics Task Force.


Homeless man charged in drug ring

Daily Herald, January 11, 2008

By Larissa Chinwah

 

A 21-year-old homeless man was accused Thursday of selling about $5,000 worth of heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana to undercover officers in Lake in the Hills, police said.

Kevin Kniesel faces 10 felony drug charges including possession of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a park, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Tim Sebastian said.

Kniesel had sold drug to members of the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force, Sebastian said.

Kniesel’s arrest is related to the Dec. 19 bust that resulted in the arrest of four Crystal Lake residents, police said.

Seized then was more than $48,000 worth of heroin, Ecstacy, and marijuana from a home on the first block of Gates Street, face a combined 33 drug charges after a two-month investigation uncovered the haul, police said.

Kniesel is set to appear in bond call this morning.



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