11 Alleged Members of Juarez Drug Cartel Arrested in
SEP 30 -- Gary G. Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Field Division along with the Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois announced the arrest today of 11 alleged members of the Juarez Drug Cartel. The arrests are the culmination of a 10 month investigation into a Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) distributing cocaine and marijuana in the Chicago area. Three separate federal criminal complaints were unsealed today, outlining the alleged illegal activity of members of the organization.
According to the complaints, the investigation into the organization revealed members distributed multiple kilogram quantities of cocaine and marijuana from suppliers in Mexico to customers in Chicago, via the Southwest Border from December 2007 continuing through July 2008. The complaints allege that once in Chicago, the cocaine was sold wholesale to customers for $20,000 to $22, 000 per kilogram and marijuana was sold for $500 to $1050 per pound. During the investigation three organization members were murdered at a drug stash house in Chicago. The DEA continues to work with the Chicago Police Department on their ongoing investigation into that triple homicide, which took place in April, 2008.
“The arrests today are the result of a complex investigation involving long hours of dedicated drug law enforcement in Chicago,” stated Mr. Olenkiewicz. “We are thankful to our law enforcement counterparts who helped make this enforcement action a safe success. The U.S. Marshals, U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept, the Arlington Heights Police Department and the Will County Sheriff’s Department were all instrumental in effecting the arrests.”
Arrested today based on the three separate criminal complaints of conspiring to possess with intention to distribute over five kilograms or more of cocaine were:
Elsa Barajas, 58 of Chicago
Electronic copies of the complaints are available to the media. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maggie Schneider, Kruti Trivedi, and Stephen Chahn Lee.
The public is reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by a guilty plea.