Authorities: Man took small child with him while delivering drugs

A 26-year-old Wheeling man was arrested Thursday traveling with a small child en route to deliver drugs in Lake County, authorities said.

Javier Franco was stopped by Lake County sheriff's deputies in Vernon Hills following a monthslong investigation by the agency's special drug task force.

A search of the vehicle recovered more than 85 grams of cocaine and a handgun, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies said his child was also in the vehicle.

Sheriff's officials said the child was cared for by detectives until another family member arrived to take custody. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was notified of the arrest as well.

While Franco was being arrested, deputies also conducted a search of Franco's home in Wheeling after securing a search warrant. That search uncovered more than a pound of additional cocaine and two more firearms, authorities said.

Franco was charged with armed violence, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, aggravated unlawful possession of a weapon and child endangerment.

Franco's prosecution will be handled by the Illinois attorney general's office because the crimes took place in multiple counties, officials said.

His bail was set at $1.5 million, according to the Lake County jail website. He would need to post $150,000 to be released pretrial.

Franco's next court date is May 10.

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