NORTH CENTRAL NARCOTICS TASK FORCE
Illinois State Police
NCNTF IN THE NEWS
Wheeling man held on drug charges
March 4, 2016, Daily Herald
By Barbara Vitello
A Wheeling man who prosecutors say had cocaine hidden in what appeared to be a beverage can in his refrigerator was ordered held on $75,000 bail Friday on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Vandan Echeverria, 22, of the 0-100 block of First Street, was arrested about 5:30 a.m. Friday after members of the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at his home, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney David Shin.
Inside, police found 4.5 grams of cocaine with a street value of about $1,450 in a beverage can with a false center, Shin said. Also in the can were 41 individually wrapped pills that police determined were Ecstasy and had a street value of about $400, Shin said.
Police also recovered 39 grams of marijuana worth about $800, scales, drug packaging and currency, Shin said.
Echeverria was convicted in 2013 of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and sentenced to one year in prison. He also received 24 months of probation in 2014 in DuPage County for possession of a controlled substance.
Cook County Judge Joseph Cataldo ordered Echeverria to submit to a curfew and home electronic monitoring if he posts bail.
Man pleads guilty in I-88 heroin arrest near Aurora
January 25, 2016, Daily Herald
By: Harry Hitzeman
A 46-year-old Rock Island man initially charged with possession of an uncut ounce of heroin with intent to deliver pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge.
Robert R. Butler, of the 4400 block of Seventh Avenue, was charged in September 2014 and will be sentenced March 18 by Kane County Judge James Hallock, according to court records.
Butler and another Rock Island resident were arrested after a stop as they headed west on Interstate 88 near Route 31 by members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police. Authorities seized 27 grams of unpackaged heroin, 11 grams of crack cocaine in a single chunk and $1,250, officials said.
A jury trial for Butler was set for Monday but he pleaded guilty last week to the reduced charge of possession of a controlled substance, a felony that carries a punishment ranging from probation to three years in prison.
The original charge against Butler, and his passenger, Courtney E. Martin, 36, of possession of more than 15 grams of heroin with intent to deliver carried a penalty of six to 30 years in prison with no chance of probation.
Martin is next due in court Feb. 18.
Butler has been held at the Kane County jail on $500,000 bail since his arrest. He is eligible to have his prison term cut in half for good behavior.
Campton Hills men face drug charges
One charged with growing pot at residence
January 7, 2015, Kane County Chronicle
By Ashley Sloboda
CAMPTON HILLS – A Campton Hills man faces multiple drug-related charges, including accusations he produced upwards of 50 marijuana plants at his home, according to Kane County court records.
Records show Derek J. Sutcliffe, 30, of the 6N000 block of Denker Road, was charged with these felonies: manufacturing/delivering 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana, possession of 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana, producing 20 to 50 marijuana plants and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
He also was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to records.
Another person at his address faces similar charges.
Joseph W. Sutcliffe, 27, was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and these felonies: manufacturing/delivering 30 to 500 grams of marijuana, possession of 30 to 500 grams of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.
Court documents did not indicate the relation between the men.
Records indicated Derek Sutcliffe's bond was $50,000 with 10 percent to apply, and Joseph Sutcliffe's was $25,000 with 10 percent to apply. Both men posted bail Monday, Kane County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Pat Gengler wrote in an email.
Their charges reportedly stem from December.
North Central Narcotics Task Force is listed in court filings as the arresting
Palatine man cleared due to scandal sentenced for new drug crime
Daily Herald, November 10, 2015
By Barbara Vitello
A Palatine man whose 2012 drug charges were dismissed in the wake of a Schaumburg police scandal was sentenced Monday to four years after pleading guilty to the manufacture and delivery of cocaine.
Efren Rosales, 21, received a boot camp recommendation, according to court records. Boot camp consists of physical labor, substance abuse treatment and education requirements. Rosales was also ordered to pay $2,819 in fines.
Members of the Northern Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force arrested Rosales in June for what prosecutors called "multiple narcotics-related offenses" that occurred between May 4 and June 12 of this year. They recovered more than 190 grams of cocaine from his home and a vehicle, prosecutors said, adding the street value of the drugs exceeded $14,000.
Rosales was among at least 19 defendants whose charges were dismissed by prosecutors in 2013 after then Schaumburg undercover officers Matthew Hudak, John Cichy and Terrance O'Brien were arrested in DuPage County on charges of criminal drug conspiracy, delivery of a controlled substance, theft and official misconduct.
All three men resigned the police force after their arrests. Hudak and O'Brien pleaded guilty to the charges last year and were sentenced to 26 and 24 years in prison respectively. Charges are pending against Cichy.
Aurora man charged with LSD possession
Daily Herald, September 9, 2015
By Harry Hitzeman
An Aurora man faces up to 30 years in prison after his third felony drug arrest over the weekend.
Kyle G. Sweezer, 25, of the 600 block of Fourth Street, was arrested Friday and charged with possession of 15 to 200 doses of LSD, according to Kane County court records.
Sweezer also faces misdemeanor charges of possession of 2.5 grams to 10 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, records show.
Sweezer was arrested after an investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the Illinois State Police.
State Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus, the director of the task force, could not be reached for comment regarding where Sweezer was arrested, how much LSD he possessed and the drugs' street value. No one else at the task force would comment.
If convicted of the most severe charge, the LSD allegations, Sweezer faces between six and 30 years in prison and probation is not an option.
Friday's arrest marks Sweezer third felony drug arrest in Kane County, records show.
He was arrested in March 2007 by Aurora police and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He later pleaded guilty and received two years probation, which records show he violated.
Sweezer also was arrested in August 2009 by Aurora police on charges of possession of 15 to 100 grams of Ecstasy. He pleaded guilty and received a prison term of five years and a $2,800 fine.
Sweezer is next due in Kane County court Sept. 18. He has been released from the Kane County jail after posting bond.
Police: Man used St. Charles hotel to deal Ecstasy
Daily Herald, August 14, 2015
A 27-year-old man was charged this week with using a St. Charles hotel room as a base to sell Ecstasy, according to authorities and court records.
Patrick S. Kidwell, of the 500 block of South 16th Street, St. Charles, faces charges of possession of between 100 grams and 400 grams of Ecstasy with intent to deliver, a felony that carries a prison term of six to 30 years without the chance of probation if he is convicted.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus, who is executive director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, said authorities began surveillance on Kidwell after receiving a tip he was selling drugs out of a hotel room on the east side of the city.
Authorities executed a search warrant at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, seizing 160 grams of MDMA in powder form, as well as other paraphernalia indicative that Kidwell was dealing drugs, Backus said.
The powdered MDMA is commonly put into capsules in .1 gram increments and sold for $10 each, Backus said.
That equates to an estimated street value of $16,000.
"We believe he was using the hotel room to facilitate his drug distribution," Backus said, declining to name the hotel. "That's what we're alleging."
Kidwell was charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor in June 2006 in St. Charles and he paid a $250 fine.
Kidwell is being held at the Kane County jail on $35,000 bail, meaning he must post $3,500 to be released while the case is pending.
He is next due in court on Aug. 27.
Elgin man gets 5 years in 2014 marijuana bust
Daily Herald, August 11, 2015
By Harry Hitzeman
An Elgin man has been sentenced to five years in prison after authorities raided his home last year and seized 15 pounds of marijuana.
Victor H. Galvan, of the 200 block of North Weston Avenue, recently pleaded guilty to possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Kane County Judge James Hallock accepted the plea in which prosecutors dropped the most severe charges, which carried a prison term of six to 30 years.
Galvan also must pay $36,460 in fees and fines, including a $35,000 drug fine, according to court records.
Members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a unit of the Illinois State Police, searched Galvan's home in October 2014 and seized 15 pounds of marijuana.
Galvan was not home at the time, but showed up during the search and was arrested.
His most serious offense in Kane County prior to that arrest was for felony criminal damage to property in January 2012 in Elgin, records show.
That charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor for which he pleaded guilty to and received 18 months probation and a $1,700 fine.
A message left with Galvan's defense attorney, Vince Solano, was not immediately returned.
Galvan gets credit for about 10 months served at the Kane County jail while his case was pending.
Arlington Heights police save 19-year-old woman after heroin OD
Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2015
By Karen Ann Cullotta
At first glance, the lifeless body of a teenage girl on the lawn outside an Arlington Heights apartment complex on a recent summer afternoon appeared to be the latest victim of the suburban heroin scourge.
"After working 30 years as a police officer, I've seen my fair share of dead bodies, and I thought she was gone…her skin was ashen in color, her eyes were rolled back in her head and her chest was not moving," said Arlington Heights Deputy Police Chief Nicholas Pecora, one of the first responders who arrived at the scene of a heroin overdose at the Marketview Apartments last month.
But despite the seemingly grim situation, within minutes of the 911 call for assistance, Pecora said an Arlington Heights police officer swiftly injected two doses of the anti-opioid drug naloxone into the victim's outer thigh, reversing the effects of the heroin overdose within seconds, and bringing the teen back to life.
Pecora said the incident marked the first time Arlington Heights police reversed a potentially fatal heroin overdose since officers received training in how to administer naloxone injections from Live4Lali, a local substance abuse prevention program, which also donated a supply of auto-injectors to the police department to support its efforts.
Upon the 19-year-old woman's release from the hospital, Pecora said police connected her with officials at Live4Lali, who provided emergency counseling, supplied her with clothing and toiletries, and secured her admission to a substance abuse treatment program specializing in heroin addictions at a rehabilitation center in Florida.
"In the police department, every life matters, and sometimes, that means acting as advocates while we're carrying out our mission to suppress crime," Pecora said.
Jody Daitchman, the co-founder and project manager of Live4Lali, said as the mother of Alex Laliberte, who died of a heroin overdose in 2008, she has committed her life to helping young addicts recover, as well as providing support to families who have also lost their children to substance abuse.
Palatine man who had drug charges dismissed following scandal charged again
Daily Herald, July 9, 2015
A 21-year-old Palatine man whose 2012 drug charges were dropped in the wake of a Schaumburg police scandal faces new allegations that he delivered a controlled substance several times in May and June.
On Thursday, Efren Rosales, of the 1300 block of White Water Lane, had his bail increased from $25,000 to $75,000 after prosecutors claimed Rosales is affiliated with a street gang and told Cook County Judge Joseph Cataldo that Rosales has six additional criminal counts pending against him.
At the time of his original bail hearing on June 14 in Chicago, Rosales was charged with a sole count of possession of a controlled substance. The additional criminal charges include possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and delivery of a controlled substance. The latter carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Members of the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force arrested Rosales last month for what prosecutors described as "multiple narcotics-related offenses" between May 4 and June 12.
According to court records, state police officers recovered 29 grams of cocaine in a vehicle in which Rosales was riding. They also found 84.5 grams of cocaine at his home, along with digital scales, drug packaging material, a .22 caliber assault rifle and ammunition, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney David Shin.
The total amount of suspected cocaine recovered at Rosales' home and as a result of drug sales was 192.4 grams with a street value of $14,320, Shin said.
Rosales was among at least 19 defendants whose charges were dropped in the wake of the January 2013 arrests in DuPage County of former Schaumburg undercover officers John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien on charges of criminal drug conspiracy, delivery of a controlled substance, armed violence, theft and official misconduct. Cook County prosecutors subsequently dismissed selected cases, citing the former officers' tainted credibility.
Hudak and O'Brien pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to 26 and 24 years in prison, respectively. Charges are still pending against Cichy.
Rosales next appears in court on Aug. 10.
Accused doctor now faces drug charges
May 8, 2015, Kane County Chronicle
By Staff Writter
ST. CHARLES – A former Geneva doctor charged last year with sexual assault now faces charges for growing marijuana in his home, according to a news release from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.
Mark Lewis, 55, of St. Charles, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class X felony; possession of marijuana, a Class 1 felony; production of marijuana plants, a Class 2 felony; possession of a firearm with a revoked FOID card, a Class 3 felony; and possession of firearm ammunition without a FOID card, a Class A misdemeanor.
Officers from the North Central Narcotics Task Force on Thursday executed a search warrant at his residence, where they found 199 marijuana plants, 11,772 grams of processed marijuana, a handgun and ammunition, the release states.
The release indicates the street value of the marijuana and marijuana plants seized was estimated at more than $600,000.
Lewis, who was home at the time, was taken into custody and charged, according to the release.
His bond was set at $1 million Friday. He must prove that the source of any money posted is from a legitimate source, the release states.
Lewis had been out on bail for a 2014 case in which he faces one count each of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony, and criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony. He has pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial.
Prosecutors on Friday moved to revoke bond in that case, and the request was granted by Circuit Judge John Barsanti, according to the release.
Lewis remained in custody early Friday afternoon.
He is expected in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday for both cases.
Two from Hanover Park held on $2 million bail
in heroin death
May 2, 2015, Daily Herald
By Staff Writter
Two Hanover Park residents have been charged with drug-induced homicide in the heroin overdose death of a 32-year-old Bartlett man on March 9, authorities announced Saturday morning.
DuPage County Judge Terence Sheen Saturday set bail at $2 million each for Anthony Brown and Hallie Manning, both 44 and both of the same address on the 5700 block of Dutch Mill Court.
In the early morning hours of March 9, John Smrz, 32, was found dead outside their home. An autopsy revealed that he died from a heroin overdose.
Authorities said they believe that Manning gave Smrz heroin, and that after Smrz died, Brown took his body out of the home and left it in the snow in a common area.
In addition to drug-induced homicide, both Brown and Manning have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance. Brown also was charged with concealment of a homicide and possession of a controlled substance.
"The successful outcome of the investigation into this case is an excellent example of coordination and cooperation between agencies," Hanover Park Police Chief Dave Webb said in a news release Saturday, thanking the North Central Narcotics Task Force for assistance in the investigation. "Our investigators worked tirelessly to bring these individuals to justice. Confronting the scourge that is the heroin epidemic in our community through education, prevention, and enforcement will remain a top priority going forward."
"Despite law enforcement's efforts, heroin continues to be a very serious, deadly problem," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin said. "While we have made significant progress in educating the public about the dangers and possibly fatal consequences of heroin use, the death of John Smrz serves as a reminder that we still have work to do to get the number of heroin deaths down to the only acceptable number, which is zero."
Brown and Manning must post 10 percent of their bail to be released from DuPage County Jail. Their next court appearance is scheduled for May 18 in front of Judge George Bakalis.
Police: Bartlett man had nearly a kilo of cocaine worth $97,000
March 6, 2015, Daily Herald
By Barbara Vitello
A Bartlett man who police say had nearly one kilogram of cocaine in his bedroom was ordered held on $200,000 bail Friday.
Jose Magallanes, of the 500 block of Deer Park Circle, was arrested after members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force recovered 970 grams of cocaine from his home after they executed a search warrant Thursday, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney David Shin.
Authorities said the drugs have a street value of $97,000.
Magallanes, 21, was charged with manufacture and delivery of cocaine, a class X felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a class 1 felony. If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces a minimum of 15 years in prison, Shin said.
Officers also recovered a scale, drug packages, a ledger and an undetermined amount of U.S. currency, Shin said.
Magallanes, who has no criminal background, next appears in court on March 27.
Schaumburg man charged with selling meth
March 4, 2015, Daily Herald
By Barbara Vitello
A 22-year-old Schaumburg man was ordered held on $90,000 bail Wednesday on charges he sold methamphetamine to undercover Illinois State Police officers multiple times, Cook County prosecutors said.
Prosecutors say members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force purchased the drug from Ruben Rodriguez in amounts ranging from 1.1 grams to 7.7 grams on Jan. 19, Feb. 4 and March 3.
Rodriguez, of the 100 block of Oliver Court, served two days in Cook County jail in 2013 for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney David Shin said. He also has misdemeanor battery convictions from 2012, Shin said.
If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to seven years in prison. Probation is also an option. He next appears in court on March 26.
2 men charged in Algonquin woman’s death
February 3, 2015, Daily Herald
Two men have been charged in the drug-induced death of a 21-year-old Algonquin woman, police said.
The victim was Danielle Barzyk, whose boyfriend, Cody Hillier, brought her to the Algonquin police station parking lot early Saturday morning because she was experiencing difficulty breathing, police said.
Hillier lived near the police station/village hall at 2200 Harnish Drive, police said.
"He came inside to call 911," Deputy Chief Andrew Doles said. "They live just a short way from the police department."
Barzyk was unconscious and not breathing when officers reached her. They administered CPR and emergency medical treatment until paramedics took her to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin where she was pronounced dead of a heroin overdose, Doles said.
Hillier, 23, of Algonquin has been charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance for giving the heroin to Barzyk, police said. The man who sold Hillier the heroin, James Linder, 34, of Zion, has been charged with drug-induced homicide, Doles said.
The North Central Narcotics Task Force, the McHenry County and Lake County state's attorneys offices, and the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group assisted with the investigation.
Hillier and Linder were being held at the McHenry County jail pending a bond hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday in courtroom 304 of the McHenry County Courthouse.
Ex-Huntley man pleads guilty in $5 million pot bust
Daily Herald, January 31, 2015
An Elk Grove Village man faces 12 to 60 years in prison after admitting his role in $5 million marijuana bust in 2009.
Joseph M. Lichay, 53, formerly of Huntley, was set to go on trial in Kane County this week; instead he'll be sentenced on April 17 by Judge James Hallock after pleading guilty to cannabis trafficking of more than 5,000 grams, according to court records.
Lichay and five others were arrested in November 2009 after an investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a unit of the Illinois State Police, and other agencies.
The bust took place at a warehouse in Elk Grove Village in Cook County, but the case was prosecuted in Kane County because one of the defendants lives in Kane and there was related activity in Kane, prosecutors said.
It was one of the largest seizures of marijuana in Kane County's history as authorities seized 2,300 pounds of marijuana, $480,000 and eight vehicles.
Lichay entered a cold plea, meaning the defendant admits guilt and leaves the sentence in the hands of a judge instead of negotiating a sentence with prosecutors before the plea is made.
A message left with Lichay's defense attorney, Alexander Salerno, was not immediately returned.
Four others have pleaded guilty and are done serving their sentences.
Santos Nunez, 53, and Fabricio Mendiola, 42, both of Chicago, received sentences of five years in prison and were fined $17,364 and $18,851, respectively, according to court records.
Jose Arriaga, 42, of Chicago, was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $20,354 and Edwardo Alanis-Garcia, 48, of Melrose Park, was sentenced to seven years and fined $20,347.
In each of the four defendants was eligible to have their sentence cut in half for good behavior while in prison.
A final defendant, William E. Santana, 46, of Elgin, is next due in court Feb. 11 in Kane County.
St. Charles woman charged with felony drug possession
Arrest followed North Central Narcotics Task Force investigation
Kane County Chronicle, January 13, 2015
By ERIC SCHELKOPF
ST. CHARLES – A St. Charles woman remained in the Kane County Jail on Tuesday afternoon on a $200,000 bond after she was charged in December with several counts of felony drug possession, according to court records.
Julie B. Welch, 50, of the 1200 block of Indiana Avenue, was charged on Dec. 23 after an investigation of her home by members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.
Her next court date is set for Jan. 22.
Welch has been charged with several counts of felony drug possession and felony manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance. She also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
The felony charges include unlawfully possessing with intent to deliver morphine, hydrocodone, amphetamine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, methylphenidate, diazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam, flurazepam and carisoprodol.
Hydrocone is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers, according to the website www.drugs.com.
Amphetamine is a stimulant and an appetite suppressant, the website stated, and stimulates the central nervous system (nerves and brain) by increasing the amount of certain chemicals in the body.
Welch also is being charged with a felony count of possessing with intent to deliver more than 30 grams of marijuana.
Two more plead guilty in Kane County pot bust
Arrests occurred in November 2012 after surveillance
September 17, 2014, Kane County Chronicle
By Eric Schelkopf
Two of the five people charged in 2012 in the trafficking of nearly 600 pounds of marijuana from Arizona to Illinois have pleaded guilty.
Mary Nunez, 59, of Batavia was sentenced to three years in prison. Matthew A. Westerlin, 30, formerly of Elburn, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
They were part of a group that had been under police surveillance for several months before their arrest in November 2012. Police seized 598 pounds of marijuana during the investigation, which included simultaneous traffic stops on four vehicles in Sugar Grove and Aurora.
Westerlin’s wife, Crystal Westerlin, pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to three years in prison. Dean A. Dziuba, 57, of Darien also recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Richard G. Ecklund, 50, of Batavia pleaded guilty in August. His sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 28.
In November 2012, police pulled over a 2008 Toyota Camry at the intersection of Jericho Road and Route 47 in Sugar Grove, according to reports issued at the time by the North Central Narcotics Task Force. Three other vehicles were stopped on Orchard Road, just north of Prairie Street in Aurora. K-9s alerted police to drugs located in a 2009 Lexus and the 2008 Camry, where police seized 598 pounds of marijuana, reports indicated.
After the traffic stops, police searched homes in the 300 block of Nebraska Street in Elburn and the 2700 block of Sperry Court in Batavia, reports indicated.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the North Central Narcotics Task Force, the Illinois State Police, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
3 years in prison for North Aurora drug dealer
July 30, 1014, Daily Herald
By Harry Hitzeman
A 20-year-old North Aurora man was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for selling marijuana to undercover police officers.
Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles rejected calls for probation from the defense attorney for Krisada M. Cheung, of the 2900 block of McDuffee Drive.
Cheung, who was arrested after members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force searched his apartment on the 200 block of North Lincolnway Street, North Aurora, in July 2012, could have received probation after pleading guilty in May to the felony charge of manufacture/delivery of between 500 grams and 2,000 grams of marijuana.
But Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Mark Stadjohar argued that Cheung, who was still on probation for a juvenile aggravated assault offense at the time of his arrest, had effectively thumbed his nose at probation and conditions of his bond. Cheung failed to report an address change, made minimal progress on his GED since being expelled from high school, and tested positive for drugs at least twice in court-mandated tests, including one last month. He pleaded guilty in May to the felony marijuana charge, Stadjohar argued.
"He thinks everything is a joke," he said. "Probation is not a viable option for this defendant. It's done nothing to change his behavior."
Defense attorney Liam Dixon argued for probation and said Cheung had accepted responsibility for his actions.
Dixon said the marijuana charge, along with failing to report an address change, were both nonviolent crimes and Cheung, whose first language is not English, may have been confused by a probation form to report a change of address.
"This is somebody that the state does not need to spend money on to send to prison," Dixon said.
Cheung could have received up to seven years on the drug charge. He can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior.
He also was assessed a drug fine of $16,000, in addition to other fees.
Two men staying at St. Charles hotel face felony drug charges
July 16, 2014, Kane County Chronicle
By Staff Writer
ST. CHARLES – Two men who were staying at a St. Charles hotel face felony drug charges following an investigation into illegal drug distribution, according to a news release from the North Central Narcotics Task Force.
Trevor S. Brubaker, 21, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class 3 felony; possession of a controlled substance, clonazepam, a Class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
Ryan M. Kitowski, 21, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, heroin, a Class 4 felony; possession of a controlled substance, clonazepam, a Class 4 felony; possession of a controlled substance, Adderall, a Class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
The release indicates both men are of St. Charles.
At about 6:30 p.m. July 8, the task force – which had gotten information from the St. Charles Police Department – reportedly searched the hotel room where Brubaker and Kitowski were staying, the Best Western at 1635 E. Main St.
According to the release, agents seized about 50 grams of marijuana, less than 1 gram of heroin, 30 Adderall pills, 15 clonazepam pills and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.
The men were taken to the Kane County jail.
Brubaker’s bail was set at $25,000 with 10 percent to apply, and Kitowski’s was set at $50,000 with 10 percent to apply, the release states.
Online records for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday showed Kitowski remained in custody, while Brubaker was not.
Those with information about illegal narcotic activity are asked to call the narcotics task force at 630-264-4335 or visit www.ncntf.org.
Two Algonquin men arrested for multiple drug charges
June 30, 2014, Northwest Herald
By Staff Writer
ALGONQUIN — Two Algonquin men were arrested Friday for multiple drug charges, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.
The arrests of Anthony T. Lira, 20, and Anthony M. Lira, 43, occurred during the execution of a search warrant at 1120 Fox River Drive in Algonquin, the release states.
Conducting the search were members of the McHenry County Sheriff's Police Narcotics Task Force, Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Anthony T. Lira was arrested on charges including unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He also had an arrest warrant for an unrelated charge of unlawful possession of marijuana. His court date is set for July 17.
Anthony M. Lira was arrested on charges including unlawful delivery of marijuana, unlawful possession of marijuana, violation of bail bond, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Anthony M. Lira's court date is set for 9 a.m. July 3.
The release further states deputies seized roughly 120 grams of marijuana, one digital scale, packaging materials, and multiple items of drug paraphernalia.
The street value of the drugs was estimated at $1,500, according to the news release.
The bonds for Anthony T. Lira and Anthony M. Lira are set at $1,500 and $5,000, respectively.
St. Charles couple, son charged in marijuana, scheme
Daily Herald, June 19, 2014
By Harry Hitzeman
A St. Charles couple has been charged in a money laundering scheme involving marijuana shipped from California by their son, authorities said.
Anthony and Gina Salemi, 56 and 52, respectively, were arrested last week after an investigation of several agencies and charged with felony money laundering.
Authorities say the couple's son in California mailed marijuana to the Salemis' home on the 5N400 block of Glen Oak Lane. Authorities say money from selling the drugs was sent back to Nicholas Salemi, 24, in Fallbrook, Calif., to buy more drugs and have them mailed to St. Charles.
According to the Kane County state's attorney's office, marijuana was mailed between Feb. 19 and April 2, 2014.
On June 11 authorities searched the Salemis' home in St. Charles, seizing drug paraphernalia, marijuana and marijuana plants. At the same time, authorities arrested Nicholas Salemi and Maryhelen Kwiatkowski, 32, at their home.
Nicholas Salemi, formerly of St. Charles, is charged with money laundering and four counts of delivery of marijuana, the most severe charge carrying a maximum 15-year prison term if convicted, authorities said.
Kwiatkowski also is charged with two counts of marijuana delivery, the most severe charge carrying up to seven years in prison. Probation also is an option.
Both were being held by San Diego County authorities and are awaiting extradition to Kane County, when their initial court dates will be set.
Master Sgt. Bill Backus of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a unit of the Illinois State Police, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The task force is listed in court records as the charging agency in the case.
James Casement is the defense attorney representing Anthony and Gina Salemi.
"They maintain their innocence and we hope that justice will be served," Casement said of the couple.
According to court records, Anthony and Gina Salemi did not have any previous arrests.
They are both free after posting bond -- Anthony $18,000 and Gina $5,000 -- and are due in Kane County court Friday.
If convicted, they each face between two and five years in prison. Probation also is an option.
According to Kane County court records, Nicholas Salemi was arrested in September 2007 on charges of domestic battery and later received supervision. He also was arrested on felony ecstasy charges in May 2008, but the charges were later dismissed. He also was cited for disorderly conduct and underage drinking in Elburn in August 2009.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon thanked U.S. Postal Inspectors, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security agents, the Illinois attorney general's office and investigators from the North Central Narcotics Task Force.
"This interagency cooperation is vitally important in keeping illegal drugs off the streets," McMahon said.
Police: Elgin man caught with 2 pounds of marijuana
Daily Herald, May 20, 2014
By Harry Hitzeman
A 21-year-old Elgin man was arrested Monday on charges he possessed more than 2 pounds of marijuana, according to authorities and court records.
Christian A. Rodriguez was arrested at his residence by members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police.
"It was a search warrant executed at (Rodriguez's) residence in the 400 block of Hendee," said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. and Task Force Director Bill Backus. "It's been a two-month investigation I would say at this stage."
Backus said authorities seized 1,068 grams of marijuana, equivalent to about 2.3 pounds, along with $2,800 cash and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.
Backus said the marijuana has an estimated street value of $3,000.
According to Kane County court records, Rodriguez was charged with felony burglary in September 2011 in Elgin. He pleaded guilty three months later and was sentenced to two years probation and 60 hours of community service.
Rodriguez was arrested in Elgin in January 2013 on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia to which he pleaded guilty and was given conditional discharge -- a form of probation -- and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service.
A violation of probation hearing, in which prosecutors could argue Rodriguez be resentenced to prison, is scheduled June 5, records show.
Rodriguez was being held at the Kane County jail on $60,000 bail.
He is next due in court May 28 and faces anywhere from probation to seven years in prison if convicted.
North Aurora man guilty of possessing nearly 2 pounds of pot
Daily Herald, May 19, 2014
By Harry Hitzeman
A 20-year-old North Aurora man pleaded guilty to felony drug charges from a July 2012 arrest on his way to sell a half pound of marijuana to undercover officers, a according to authorities and court records.
Krisada M. Cheung, of the 200 block of North Lincolnway Avenue, faces anywhere from probation to seven years in prison when sentenced July 30 by Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus said Cheung was arrested at 5:02 p.m. July 27, 2012, at Indian Trail Road and North Highland Avenue in Aurora on his way to meet an undercover officer from the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is division of the state police.
"He had previously delivered cannabis to undercover officers three times before his arrest," Backus said. "He was en route to meet the undercover officer when he was arrested."
Authorities found 245 grams, or about one-half pound, of marijuana in Cheung's vehicle and later searched his residence, seizing another 579 grams of marijuana, Backus said. The total weight of the marijuana was about 1.8 pounds.
Police also found 86 grams of synthetic marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, digital scales, packaging material and about $2,200 cash, Backus said.
The street value of the marijuana was estimated at $3,000 by Backus.
In the plea agreement, which was approved Thursday by Boles, prosecutors dismissed the less severe charges for the synthetic marijuana and mushrooms, according to court records and Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Mark Stadojhar.
Cheung entered a cold plea in which a defendant does not have an agreed upon sentence with prosecutors before admitting guilt and instead leaves it in the hands of a judge.
Probation, jail for Elgin man’s 6.5-pound pot package
Daily Herald, March 21, 2014
A 43-year-old Elgin man who was arrested in December 2013 on charges he had a 6.5-pound package of marijuana mailed to him from California pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to 30 months probation, according to Kane County court records.
German Reyes, of the 400 block of Villa Street, also spent 105 days is jail, was fined $8,400 and could be resentenced to between four and 15 years in prison if he violates probation.
Kane County Judge John Barsanti accepted the guilty plea Thursday from Reyes, who had no previous criminal record in Kane County.
Reyes was arrested by members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police, after he accepted a package from California containing nearly 6.5 pounds of marijuana, a value of about $16,000, authorities said.
The task force also worked with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office to make the arrest.
The plea agreement actually mandated a 180-day jail sentence, records show. Reyes was eligible to have it halved for good behavior and had already spent 105 days behind bars so he was released.
He was being held on $750,000 bail since his arrest.
Police: Man caught with pot-laced chocolate bars
Daily Herald, February 13, 2014
By Harry Hitzeman
Authorities arrested a 31-year-old Kane County man Wednesday afternoon after a 42-pound shipment of marijuana-infused chocolate bars was delivered to his home from a California medical marijuana dispensary, police said.
Thomas J. Franzen, of the 900 block of Harmony Lane, Montgomery, was arrested about an a hour after the package arrived and authorities executed a search warrant, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus said.
“It was actually 42 pounds of cannabis-laced chocolate edibles from a company in California. We are alleging that, yes, he had it shipped to him,” said Backus, director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a division of the state police.
Backus said the package contained 430 individually foil-wrapped bars that retail for $13, a total of nearly $5,600.
Franzen is charged with five felony counts of cannabis trafficking and possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, according to court records.
The charges carry a possible penalty of six to 30 years in prison with no possibility of probation.
Bail for Franzen was set at $150,000; his next court date was not immediately available Thursday.
Backus said police also seized $2,275, 102 grams of marijuana, and found suspected drug ledgers, both electronic and handwritten, from Franzen’s home. The search warrant was executed about an hour after the package was delivered, he said.
“We have communicated with authorities in California and they are working on an investigation,” Backus said. “At this point, we don’t believe anyone else was involved in the Chicago (suburban) area.”
Former Crystal Lake man charged with shipping marijuana to area
Northwest Herald, January 24, 2014
By SHAWN SHINNEMAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
CRYSTAL LAKE – A former Crystal Lake resident was arrested Thursday on charges of allegedly trying to ship 18 pounds of marijuana to the area from his home in California.
Jesse Jacoby, of Fort Bragg, Calif., is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and marijuana trafficking, both Class X felonies. He also faces a Class 1 felony possession of marijuana charge.
Police say Jacoby, who moved out of the area about a year and a half ago, was sending the marijuana to himself and then traveling to the area to retrieve it, said Bill Backus, director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force.
All 18 pounds of the drug were packaged in one shipment, he said.
Jacoby was arrested by the task force at about 4 p.m. Thursday on the 400 block of Golf Road, Crystal Lake, where he was staying with family, Backus said.
Backus said police in California are still investigating the source of the marijuana and working to see whether any others were involved.
"On this end of it, it’s pretty cut and dried," he said. "On that end of it, we’re still working with authorities out there."
Cops: 6 pounds of pot mailed to Elgin man
Daily Herald, December 9, 2013
By Harry Hitzeman
A 43-year-old man is accused of having someone mail nearly 6.5 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of $16,000, from California to his Elgin home.
The North Central Narcotics Task Force, a special unit of the Illinois State Police, was waiting for German Reyes to accept the package Friday morning at his home on the 400 block of Villa Street and they arrested him.
“We observed Mr. Reyes take possession of the box which contained six vacuum sealed bags, totaling approximately 2,900 grams, which field tested positive for the presence of marijuana,” said Illinois State Police Sgt. Bill Backus, director of the task force. “It was a joint investigation between the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office and the North Central Narcotics Task Force.”
The most severe charge against Reyes, possession of between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver, carries a prison term of between four and 15 years. Probation also is an option; court records show that Reyes does not have any previous felony arrests in Kane County.
Backus said no one else was at Reyes’ home at the time of this arrest Friday. Reyes invoked his right to remain silent and didn’t answer questions about who dropped the package into the mail, Backus said.
“We are working with the Postal Inspector Service to try and find out the sender’s information from California,” he said.
Reyes is being held on $750,000 bail, meaning he must post $75,000 to be released while the case is pending. He is next due in court on Dec. 19
Couple indicted in selling synthetic marijuana through Algonquin tobacco shop
October 11, 2013, Northwest Herald
By Shawn Shinneman
ALGONQUIN – An Elgin man charged last month in connection with selling synthetic marijuana through his Algonquin tobacco shop now faces more serious charges after he was indicted by a statewide grand jury Thursday.
A multi-jurisdictional investigation also brought about charges for the man's wife.
John G. Monteleone, 45, and Tracy L. Monteleone, 43, both of the 100 block of Brookside Drive, Elgin, each faces charges from a three-month investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the Algonquin Police Department.
On Sept. 25, the agencies executed a search warrant at John Monteleone's business – King Puff-N-Stuff, 1409 Commerce Drive, Algonquin, according to a news release by the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.
Police seized close to 200 grams of an analog of a synthetic cannabinoid commonly referred to as "spice." During a search at the couple's Elgin residence, police found an additional 3,200 grams of the substance, the release said.
Tracy Monteleone had not been charged, and John Monteleone hadn't previously been facing the most serious charge – possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony – before Thursday's indictment.
Both now could be sentenced to between six and 30 years in state prison if convicted of the most serious charges, according to the release.
In all, John Monteleone now faces charges of possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony; possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony; possession of between 50 and 200 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class 1 felony; three counts of delivery of less than 50 grams of a controlled substance, a Class 2 felony; possession of less than 200 grams of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor, the release said.
Tracy Monteleone is charged with possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony, and possession of more than 200 grams of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony, the release said.
John Monteleone, who had been released after previously posting $8,000 bond, now faces a $500,000 bond.
Tracy Monteleone's bond was set at $25,000. She posted $2,500 and was released.
St. Charles man to serve probation for drug charge
July 19, 2013, Kane County Chronicle
By Ashley Sloboda
ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A 21-year-old St. Charles man was sentenced this month to 30 months of probation after he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, according to Kane County court records.
Clark C. Weaver was charged with that felony and others last year when authorities from the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the St. Charles Police Department seized about $50,000 in marijuana and other controlled substances, authorities have said.
Authorities reportedly collected 2,002 grams of marijuana, 505 grams of THC-laced candies and gum, 35 grams of THC oil, 30 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 0.45 grams of cocaine and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia from an apartment in the 100 block of Walnut Drive in St. Charles.
On July 10, Weaver pleaded guilty to felony possession of 2,000 to 5,000 grams of marijuana as part of a plea agreement accepted by Judge Clint T. Hull, according to court records.
In exchange, court records show, his other charges – felony possession with intent to deliver, two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia – were dropped.
Weaver was sentenced to 30 months of probation and fines and costs totaling $8,335, according to court records.
Elgin Cocaine Dealer Gets 5 Years in Prinson
Daily Herald, May 13, 2013
By Harry Hitzeman
A 32-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to cocaine charges from an arrest in Elgin last July, according to court records.
Jayson P. Sturdivant, of the 1100 block of Morton Avenue, Elgin, was on probation for a felony drug charge in 2010 when he was arrested last summer after authorities raided his home.
Sturdivant was to go on trial Monday, but pleaded guilty late Friday in exchange for prosecutors dropping the most serious charges that could have landed him in prison for up to 30 years, records show.
Under Illinois law, he can have his sentenced halved for good behavior. He also gets credit for 296 days spent in the Kane County jail while his case was pending.
Sturdivant was arrested July 19, 2012, after the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the Illinois State Police, searched his home and found 19 grams of cocaine, 2.5 pounds of marijuana, $2,300 and scales. He was charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; in this case Coleman Elementary, 1220 Dundee Ave.
The felony conviction carried a prison term of six to 30 years with no possibility of probation.
Prosecutors dropped that charge as part of the guilty plea, which was accepted by Kane County Judge Clint Hull, according to court records. Sturdivant also was fined $1,955.
Elgin police also arrested Sturdivant July 15, 2010, and he was charged with felony marijuana charge, records show. He faced up to seven years in prison for possession with intent to deliver 30 to 500 grams of marijuana within 1,000 feet of Larkin High School in Elgin. He pleaded guilty and received 30 months probation. He also spent 18 days in the county jail, records show.
Sheriff Arrests Richmond Men on Weapons, Drug-Related Charges
May 11, 2013, Algonquin – Lake in the Hills Patch
By Staff Writer
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said officers from the Narcotics Unit seized five handguns, $23,141 in cash and about $56,460 worth of marijuana.
Two Richmond men were arrested earlier this week for weapons and multiple drug-related charges.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, which includes officers from the Lake in the Hills Police Department, conducted a joint narcotics investigation with the Palatine Police Department and the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF).
On Monday, May 6, members of the county's SWAT team, Narcotics Unit, K-9 Unit, and NCNTF conducted a search warrant at the address of 9702 N. Clark Rd. in Richmond, according to a release issued by Sheriff Keith Nygren.
During the execution of the search warrant, one of the residents was arrested for multiple drug charges and weapons offenses. The second resident was arrested two days later after investigators obtained an arrest warrant for him, Nygren said.
As a result of the search warrant, deputies seized five handguns, brass knuckles, switchblades, about 2,823 grams of cannabis (6.2 pounds), three digital scales, packaging materials, and $23,141, according to the release.
Nygren estimates the street value of the cannabis to be approximately $56,460.
According to the press release, the two men arrested were charged with the following offenses:
Gregory Cantu, 47, 9702 N. Clark Road, Richmond.
· Unlawful possession of cannabis with intent deliver (Class 1)
· 3 Counts unlawful possession of cannabis (Class 2)
· Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia (Class A)
· Unlawful use of a weapon (Class A)
· Unlawful possession of a firearm without a FOID (Class A)
Cantu's bond was set at $70,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m.
Gregory Cantu, 27, of the same address, Richmond.
· Unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (Class 1)
· Unlawful possession of cannabis (Class 2)
Bond for the younger Cantu was set at $80,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. May 29.
Probation, $34,000 fine in Elgin indoor pot growing case
March 22, 2013, Daily Herald
By Harry Hitzeman
A 55-year-old Elgin man was sentenced to three years probation and fined a little more than $34,000 after pleading guilty to possession of more than 50 marijuana plants, according to court records.
Justin B. Brooks was arrested in October 2012 after members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a special unit of the Illinois State Police, searched his home in the 9N700 block of Whispering Springs Lane.
Authorities said they seized 77 plants worth an estimated $154,000. Equipment for the growing operation, packaging materials and scales also were seized, officials said.
Brooks served two days in jail before posting bond and initially pleaded not guilty in mid-February, according to court records.
Brooks reached a plea agreements this week, admitting to possession of between 50 and 200 marijuana plants, a felony that was eligible for probation but also carried a top prison term of seven years.
If Brooks violates probation before March 2016, he could be resentenced to time behind bars.
Brooks' defense attorney, James Tatooles, did not return a phone message seeking comment.
Kane County Judge Karen Simpson accepted the plea.
Brooks did not have any previous felony arrests in Kane County before the October arrest.
Two St. Charles residents face felony drug charges after a state police unit searched their home and seized two ounces of cocaine and two pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of between $6,500 and $11,100, authorities said.
Michael Stellwagen, 42, and Susanne L. Russell, 52, both of the 43W700 block of Fescue Court, are both free on bond and due in court Feb. 6.
Stellwagen is charged with felony possession of between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.
The most serious charge carries a penalty of six to 30 years in prison if convicted with no possibility of probation.
Russell is charged with possession of 15 to 100 grams of cocaine and 500 to 2,000 grams of marijuana, according to court records, and faces up four to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Illinois Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus, who also is director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, said authorities executed a search warrant at about 10 a.m. Friday at the home and seized 51.2 grams of cocaine, 1,017 grams of marijuana, and other items, such as scales. Stellwagen was arrested on the spot; Russell went to the St. Charles police station later for questioning and was later arrested.
Stellwagen does not have any previous drug arrests in Kane County. He was arrested in May 2010 in South Elgin and faced a driving under the influence charge which was later reduced to reckless driving, court records show.
Russell does not have any previous arrests in Kane County, according to court records.
Five Charged with Marijuana Trafficking
By Staff Reporter
Authorities say five people have been charged for trafficking nearly 600 pounds of marijuana from
The group had been under surveillance for three months by several police agencies before the investigation concluded Tuesday, according to a news release from the North Central Narcotics Task Force. Police seized 598 pounds of marijuana during the investigation.
Those charged with marijuana trafficking, possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana include Richard G. Ecklund, 48; of the 2700 block of Sperry Court in Batavia; Dean A. Dziuba, 55, of the 1100 block of Lodgepole Court in Darien; Matthew A. Westerlin, 28, of the 300 block of Nebraska Street in Elburn; and Crystal L. Westerlin, 29, of the 300 block of Nebraska Street in Elburn. Mary L. Nunez, 57, of the 2700 block of
Bond was set Wednesday at $35 million for Ecklund, Dziuba, and Crystal and Matthew Westerlin. Bond for Nunez was set at $27 million.
In September, authorities received information about a marijuana trafficking organization based out of Kane and
During several days in November, police surveyed the suspects as they traveled from
Around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, authorities conducted simultaneous traffic stops on four vehicles occupied by the suspects.
Police pulled over a 2008 Toyota Camry at the intersection of
K-9s alerted police to drugs located in a 2009 Lexus and the 2008 Camry, where police seized 598 pounds of marijuana. Following the traffic stops, police searched homes in the 300 block of
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the North Central Narcotics Task Force, the Illinois State Police, the
Copyright © 2012 Kane
Special Delivery: Eight Arrested in Cannabis by Mail Operation
The Courier-News, October 31, 2012
From Staff Reports
Eight men, including several from the Dundees and Elgin, were arrested on cannabis possession charges following an investigation into marijuana being mailed to a home in Cary, authorities said.
The arrests were made by agents from the North Central Narcotics Task Force and the U.S. Postal Service, with the assistance of the Crystal Lake and McHenry County Sheriff’s police.
According to a release issued Wednesday from the task force, law enforcement personnel received information that a package containing a substantial amount of cannabis had been mailed from California to a residence in the 700 block of Laurel Lane in Cary.
The task force and Postal Service executed a search warrant at the residence last Friday. During a search there, agents seized approximately 2,159 grams (about five pounds) of marijuana, approximately $1,500 in cash and numerous items of drug paraphernalia.
Charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful possession with intent to deliver were Joshua R. Ernst, 21, of Elgin; Jesse C. Peterson, 20, of West Dundee; Jacob N. McGowan, 21, of East Dundee; Eli P. Kulack and Ryan D. Kennedy, both 21 and both of Algonquin; Maurice R. Lebbos, 20, of Cary; and Dylan J. Trama, 20, of Barrington. Nicole B. Lebbos, 19, of Cary, was charged with misdemeanor unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are being reviewed by the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, the release said.
Task Force Arrest 2 St. Charles Men, Seizes Cannabis, Drugs
Kane County Chronicle, October 31, 2012
By Staff Writer
In addition to 2,002 grams of cannabis, authorities seized 505 grams of THC-laced candies, 35 grams of THC oil, 30 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 0.45 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
Two St. Charles men faced drug charges after authorities seized $50,000 in marijuana and other controlled substances from an apartment on the 100 block of Walnut Drive, the Kane County Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The Chronicle, citing a release from the North Central Narcotics Task Force, reported that Clark C. Weaver, 20, is charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, a Class 1 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class 2 felony; two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor, the Chronicle reported. Edward E. Spitzer III, 20, of St. Charles, also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.
St. Charles Police participated in the enforcement action, the task force told the Chronicle.
Cops Bust Indoor Pot Growing Operation near Elgin
Daily Herald, October 30, 2012
By Harry Hitzeman
Authorities have busted an indoor marijuana growing operation near
Justin Brooks, 54, of the 9N700 block of
Brooks was arrested earlier this month after an investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a division of the Illinois State Police.
Lt. Bill Backus, the task force’s executive director, said authorities received information that Brooks was growing marijuana.
“It was a multistage indoor cannabis grown operation in his basement, we’re alleging,” Backus said. “We had information he was involved in cannabis production. Some were seedlings, some were larger. It was an ongoing operation.”
Each plant was valued at $2,000 and authorities said the plants were in different stages of cultivation.
“They were some quality cannabis plants, I would say that much,” Backus said. “It certainly was not low-quality marijuana.”
Backus also said that authorities seized drug paraphernalia, scales and other packaging material from Brooks’ home.
He is free after posting $10,000 bail and is next due in court on Dec. 14.
A message left with Brooks’ defense attorney, James Tatooles, was not returned.
By Al Lagattolla
It was the lightest sentence that Justin J. Heneghan could receive on the Class X felony. Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon cited a 17-page letter that Heneghan had written, explaining a difficult past, in which Heneghan's father was killed when he was just 8 years old. Sheldon also mentioned that he was encouraged that Heneghan had turned to religion.
The incident took place on May 27, 2010. Officers from the North Central Narcotics Task Force served a warrant at Heneghan's home. Heneghan leaped out of a second-story window and fled, but he was taken into custody. Officers found 191 pills of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, and 135.4 grams of marijuana. He also attempted to flee from a police vehicle on his way to the
He also pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated battery to a police officer, a count of unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and a count of attempted escape. He was charged with five years each on those counts, but they will be served concurrently.
At his sentencing hearing Thursday, Heneghan's grandparents testified that he had made a change in his life, but that he needed treatment for a drug addiction.
Heneghan was represented by Michael Tatman, a
"It is a very lengthy sentence," Tatman said. "It's not letting him walk."
Wascher acknowledged that Heneghan had an "absolutely horrific childhood," but she said that as an adult, Heneghan needed to accept more responsibility for his actions. She said it "has always been his choice to go back to criminal activity."
Traffic Stop nets $1.5M in Cocaine along I-90 in Elgin
Daily Herald, October 19, 2012
A traffic stop along Interstate 90 near Elgin Tuesday netted 35 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $1.5 million on the street, authorities said.
Rogaciano P. Beruete, 57, of Fayetteville, Texas, faces felony charges of controlled substance trafficking, possession of more than 900 grams of cocaine and manufacture/delivery of more than 900 grams of cocaine, according to police and court records.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Bill Backus, who heads the North Central Narcotics Task Force, said Beruete was headed east on I-90 when he was pulled over around noon by a uniformed state trooper near Route 31 for speeding and improper lane use.
Backus said a second trooper arrived at the scene and conducted a search by walking his police dog around the car. A search turned up a package of cocaine, and the car was towed to a state facility off Interstate 90 and Route 20 in Marengo where authorities found 28 packages of cocaine weighing 35,117 grams in a hidden compartment in the floor of the vehicle, Backus said.
“In my professional opinion, he was just a transporter,” Backus said. “It’s was definitely a sizable seizure. There’s no doubt about that.”
Beruete is being held at the Kane County jail on $9 million bail, meaning he must post $900,000 in order to be free while the charges are pending. He is due in court on Wednesday.
Aurora man charged with money laundering
September 12, 2012, Beacon News
By Matt Hanley
An Aurora man is scheduled to be in court Wednesday on charges that he laundered more than $100,000 through local jewelry stores.
Mario Alvarez Vargas, 48, 900 block of Sard Avenue, is charged with 27 felony counts of unlawful structuring of a currency transaction and 18 counts of felony money laundering, according to Kane County court records. His attorney, Kathleen Colton, said Vargas will plead not guilty in Kane County Court on Wednesday.
According to records filed in the case, Vargas is accused of depositing more than $140,000 cash in various bank accounts across in Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Will and Sangamon counties. The money was put into two jewelry store bank accounts and then withdrawn elsewhere, to avoid paying taxes on the income, according to court records. In at least one instance, investigators intercepted $50,000 cash that had been hidden in an air compressor that was en route to Mexico, the records show.
Colton said Vargas was indicted by a state grand jury, and his case was assigned to Kane County, where Vargas lives. She declined further comment on the case, saying she has not yet received documents to review all the allegations.
Search warrants associated with the case reveal that investigators from the State Police, Department of Homeland Security and the North Central Narcotics Task Force have been investigating Vargas for more than a year. Investigators used surveillance and wire taps to track Vargas’ actions, court records show.
According to search warrants, investigators followed Vargas as he made several large cash deposits at different banks on the same day. For instance, the search warrant shows that on Aug. 16, 2011, Vargas went to an Aurora restaurant and left 10 minutes later carrying a white bag. At 1:10 p.m. that same day, he drove to a bank in Naperville, where he stayed for about seven minutes. He then went to an Aurora branch of the same bank and stayed for about 10 minutes, the warrant says.
As investigators followed Vargas that day, he went to money wiring service in a Walmart, a post office, two Aurora banks and a money wiring business in different areas of Aurora, the warrant says. At 5:39 p.m., he pulled up to an Aurora jewelry store, where he counted out money and handed it to a driver.
An additional search warrant filed in the case says a man may have been selling large quantities of cocaine from the Aurora jewelry store that Vargas visited. There were no Kane County records of the employee being charged, however.
Police did not return calls for comment on this story.
In September 2011, investigators again followed Vargas as he stopped at two Aurora banks and a Bartlett bank in less than four hours, the warrant says. He then stopped at Aurora and Hanover Park jewelry stores; investigators believe Vargas was picking up money or receiving instructions at the jewelry store, the warrant says.
Police were able to determine that Vargas made four cash deposits at four branches of the same bank on Oct. 5: $7,685 at 10:12 a.m. in Aurora; $7,932 at 11:14 a.m. in Aurora; $7,856 at 11:58 a.m. in Naperville; and $6,127 at 12:21 p.m. in Plainfield, the warrant alleges.
According to the warrant, in February 2012, police were listening in as Vargas tried to verify that certain deposits were received. Investigators said the man talking to Vargas said they were having problems in Mexico, where the money was headed.
“I don’t have any problem,” Vargas replied, according to court records. “I report everything. I handle money.”
In March, investigators intercepted an air compressor tank that Vargas had mailed from Oswego to Guerrero, Mexico. When agents inspected the air compressor, they found rolls of $5, $10 and $20 bills stuffed into the tank, the warrant says. In all, there was $50,000 stuffed in the air compressor.
Not long after the package was stopped, according to court records, Vargas deposited $32,000 in five separate stops at banks in Batavia, Warrenville, Aurora and Naperville. The warrant indicates he sent a text message with the amount of those deposits to an unknown person that same day.
All of these deposits were made into accounts for two alleged jewelry stores. However, investigators could find no records that indicated Vargas had been buying jewelry from those companies, the warrant says.
July 30, 2012, Daily Herald
By Harry Hitzeman
An 18-year-old from
Krisada M. Cheung, of the 200 block of
If convicted of the most serious charge, manufacture/delivery of between 500 and 2,000 grams of marijuana, he could face up to seven years in prison.
A pound contains nearly 454 grams; Cheung is accused of selling at least 500 grams.
According to court documents filed over the weekend, Cheung is accused of selling the drugs to an undercover officer. The North Central Narcotics Task Force, which is a division of the Illinois State Police, is the main charging agency.
Additional information from the task force was not available Monday.
According to court documents, Cheung also is accused of delivering to undercover officers between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana; delivering 10 to 30 grams to undercover officers, and delivering between 2.5 and 10 grams to undercover officers.
It was not clear if there were four separate drug buys or just one large transaction.
He also is accused of possession of a controlled substance, in this case psilocybin, which is another name for hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Cheung is free on bond and due in court Aug. 8.
Police: Elgin man wanted to sell drugs near elementary school
Daily Herald, July 25, 2012
By Harry Hitzeman
Jayson P. Sturdivant, of the 1100 block of
He is being held on $500,000 bail, meaning he must post $50,000 to be free while his case is pending, since his arrest by the North Central Narcotics Task Force last week.
Bill Backus, master sergeant with the Illinois State Police and director of the task force, said authorities raided Sturdivant's residence at 4:50 a.m. July 19, seizing 13 grams of cocaine, about 2¼ pounds of marijuana, scales, plastic bags and $2,300.
He said the drugs were packaged for individual sale, and the marijuana had a street value of $4,500. Backus said Sturdivant was investigated for two months. Authorities say he sold drugs from his home, which is near a school.
Sturdivant is charged with intent to deliver between 1 and 15 grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, in this case Coleman Elementary,
If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of probation.
Court records show that Sturdivant was sentenced to 30 months probation after being charged with possession of 30 grams to 500 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of
Sturdivant is next due in court on Aug. 9.
Beacon News, May 8, 2012
By Matt Hanley
At Carranza’s home, task force members found more than a pound of cocaine, a money counter, 13 cell phones and about $18,000 cash, Weis said.
Carranza will have to serve three years probation when he is released from prison.
Many of the other people charged in the bust have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, according to court records.
Eddie Hernandez, 21, 1000 block of
Jose Baez, 28, was sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance. Gabriela Hernandez, 19, of the 1000 block of
The original investigation involved
Over the next few months, police conducted surveillance on suspects and obtained telephone wiretaps.
In 2010, Backus said the arrests were related to the drug investigation that led