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Joint Operation with Lake County Sheriff's Office Results in Major Cocaine Seizure
62 kilograms of cocaine and several firearms seized

WAUKEGAN, IL. - The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office have arrested and charged five individuals in a drug distribution operation. The investigation began in December of 2010 with information received by the DEA that a ranch, located at 40058 Route 45 in unincorporated Lake Villa, was being utilized to store and distribute illegal narcotics. The investigation culminated on January 30th and 31st after several coordinated enforcement operations that resulted in the five arrests and seizure of approximately 62 kilograms of cocaine (approximately 136 pounds).

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is aware that drug trafficking organizations are setting up regional distribution and storage locations in less urban areas with the false pretense that it will reduce law enforcement suspicion of their operations,” stated Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA. “Working jointly with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office led to the dismantlement of this alleged drug distribution network, which ultimately kept 62 kilograms of cocaine and several firearms from infiltrating our communities.”

“The cooperation between our agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration was invaluable to this investigation,” said Sheriff Mark Curran. “This operation dealt a devastating blow to drug trafficking in Lake County”

Joint surveillance of the ranch led to a January 30, 2011 traffic stop of Pedro Valdovinos, 19, after he left the ranch in a vehicle. Valdovinos was stopped by a Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy on the Tri-State Tollway and gave consent to search his vehicle. The Deputy discovered a hidden compartment in the van that contained 15 packages of suspect cocaine, each weighing approximately one kilogram.

On January 31, 2011, a court authorized search warrant was obtained and executed at the ranch by members of the Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Team (TRT). Additional information obtained during the execution of the search warrant led to a consent search at 37425 Stearns School Road in unincorporated Lake Villa. A traffic stop was also conducted of individuals associated with the organization on Hunt Club Road near Route 173 on the same evening, which resulted in the seizure of additional kilograms of cocaine.

A total of $21,000 USC, one pound of cannabis, three grams of cocaine, two .45 caliber handguns and an SKS rifle were seized at the Route 45 address.

A total of $4,000 USC, 37 kilograms of cocaine, an SKS rifle and a 9mm handgun were seized from the address on Stearns School Road.

An additional ten kilograms of cocaine was confiscated during the traffic stop on Hunt Club Road near Route 173.

In addition to Valdovinos being taken into custody on January 30, 2011, six individuals were taken into custody the following day during the subsequent traffic stops and searches. Two of the individuals were released due to insufficient evidence.

The following subjects were charged through the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office:

Pedro Valdovinos, 19, Bolingbrook, Illinois
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X)

Valdovinos was taken into custody following the traffic stop on January 30, 2011.

Hector M. Velez-Rodriguez, 30, of 37425 Stearns School Road – Lake Villa
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X)
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 1)
• Possession of a Firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (Class A misdemeanor)

Cesar Figueroa, 45, of 40058 N. Route 45 – Lake Villa
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X)
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 1)
• Possession of a Firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (Class A misdemeanor)

Velez- Rodriguez and Figueroa were taken into custody near the Stearns School Road address.

Rigoberto Duran-Aguilar, 27, of 266 Shorewood Drive #2 – Glendale Heights, IL.
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X)
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 1)

Jose A. Torres, 28, of 1112 Montague Street – Rockford, IL.
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Class X)
• Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 1)

Duran-Aguilar and Torres were taken into custody following the traffic stop on Hunt Club Road.

Bond for Velez-Rodriguez and Figueroa was set in the amount of $100,000. Bond for Valdovinos, Torres and Duran-Aguilar was set in the amount of $250,000. All five men remain in the Lake County Jail. If convicted, they could each face up to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The public is reminded that the defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the state must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


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