Nationwide drug investigation nets suburban arrests

A two-year federal drug investigation resulted in the seizure of nearly $5 million, almost 220 pounds of heroin and cocaine and charges against 22 people, including several from the Chicago suburbs.

Most of those arrested in the culmination of the investigation are facing up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the federal drug conspiracy charges, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Victor Mata Madrigal, 37, of Lombard, was the linchpin of the investigation. He was arrested in April 2013 after agents seized more than $3.9 million in cash and large quantities of "cocaine, heroin and marijuana" from a residence in the 700 block of North Lincoln Avenue in Park Ridge, federal authorities said.

Mata Madrigal is accused of operating a wholesale narcotics importing operation from Mexico along with eight others, according to court records. Prosecutors said Mata Madrigal attempted to continue directing the drug operation while in custody.

Prosecutors said that between April 2012 and May 2014, Mata Madrigal conspired with Balmore Urbano, 31, of Bensenville, and seven others from the Chicago area and Philadelphia to possess and distribute cocaine.

Additionally, Adan Baca, 36, of Schaumburg, and eight others from the Chicago area, California and Oregon are facing drug distribution charges after wholesale quantities of cocaine were purchased from Mata Madrigal's operation, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Jim Baartz, 41, of Crystal Lake, is also charged with possession of heroin and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted. Authorities arrested 18 of the 22 people named in the indictment between Monday and Wednesday evening, according to federal prosecutors. During that sweep, about $500,000 in cash, a loaded revolver and more drugs were seized. In all, more than 170 pound of cocaine and roughly 45 pounds of heroin were seized by authorities during the investigation, prosecutors said.

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