A 25-year-old Bensenville man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for leading a Chicago-area cell of an international drug trafficking organization, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Jesus Salgado ran a stash house in Bensenville where heroin and cash from drug sales were stored, authorities said, and also sold drugs in the area. They said Salgado often would pick up heroin from the stash house before meeting with customers and then drop the proceeds off at the house after the sales.
He was charged as part of "Operation Over the Top," a federal probe that spanned more than two years and disrupted a Mexico-to-Chicago drug pipeline. Authorities seized four kilograms of heroin from the Bensenville stash house and shut it down as part of the investigation.
The probe was led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and conducted under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Salgado pleaded guilty last year to a drug conspiracy charge and U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey imposed the 16-year sentence Wednesday in federal court in Chicago.
Salgado's father, Lorenzo Salgado, is charged with drug conspiracy and is considered a fugitive, federal officials said. Lorenzo Salgado oversaw the drug operation, according to an indictment filed against both men, and communicated with his son via phone from Mexico.
In his written plea agreement, Jesus Salgado said he operated the Bensenville stash house with his girlfriend, Ruby Joy Buenaventura, 27, of Chicago, and that he and Buenaventura delivered drugs to customers in the Chicago area.
One of the deals occurred in a grocery store parking lot in Bensenville on May 3, 2016, when Salgado delivered two kilograms of heroin to Sergio Arevalo-Gomez, 23, of Chicago.
Arevalo-Gomez pleaded guilty to a drug distribution charge and was sentenced last year to four years in prison. Buenaventura also pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced last year to three years in prison.