An Aurora man is being held on $15 million bail, charged with possession of nine kilograms of heroin and money laundering in one of Kane County's largest ever drug seizures, authorities said Thursday.
Modesto Alarcon, 41, of the 1000 block of Grove Street, was arrested Tuesday at his home and appeared in bond court Wednesday. Police found the heroin and $85,000 in cash in his garage. They also found a handgun, ammunition and "items consistent with drug distribution," according to a news release from the Aurora Police Department.
Aurora police estimate the value of the heroin at $1.35 million.
"Heroin is dangerously addictive and often deadly, and it plagues nearly every community throughout the Chicago area. This seizure removes from circulation a significant amount of heroin that otherwise would have been distributed throughout the Chicago suburbs," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.
"I consider these developments to be a meaningful victory as we continue to deal with the challenges of this heroin epidemic."
Two Evanston residents have also been charged with money laundering in connection with the bust. Police found $190,050 in a car they were in while in Cook County.
Aurora police and agents from the Department of Homeland Security observed a meeting Tuesday between Alarcon, Juan Carlos Fernandez and Reyna Garcia-Manzanares on Aurora's near west side, police said. After Alarcon left, police stopped the Fernandez/Garcia-Manzanares vehicle and searched it.
Fernandez, 39, and Garcia-Manzanares, 41, both of the 400 block of Howard Street in Evanston, appeared in Kane County court Thursday and Associate Judge Clint Hull set their bail at $500,000 each. They will need to post $50,000 to be released.
If any of the three attempt to post bond, a hearing will first be held to determine the source of the money.
Fernandez is a resident alien. Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland told Hull she believes he recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic.
If Garcia-Manzanares posts bond, she would be turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Orland said.
"This operation is an illustration of the continuing partnerships between the Aurora Police and other law enforcement agencies at all levels that has been instrumental in Aurora's continuing crime drop over the years," Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas said in the release.
Previously, the largest known heroin seizure was seven kilograms, in April 2011. It was found in a vehicle driving on Interstate 90 through Elgin. The defendant in that case, a woman from Texas, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and told police she was working for a Mexican drug cartel.