Villa Park man charged in $2.8 million cocaine bust
A Villa Park man accused of possessing more than 70 pounds cocaine was ordered held Friday on bail of $2.8 million, the estimated street value of the drugs.
Herasmo Herrera, 30, was arrested about 5 p.m. Thursday after DuPage County sheriff's officers found four bricks of cocaine in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Elmhurst, authorities said.
Police then searched his apartment on the 100 block of Ovaltine Court and recovered 24 more individually wrapped packages of cocaine weighing about a kilogram each. Also discovered was a handgun and an AK-47 magazine, authorities said.
"The (cocaine's) street value alone is $2.8 million," Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Laude told Judge Brian Diamond in bond court.
Diamond set bail in that amount. Should Herrera post the necessary $280,000 to bond out of jail, he must prove the funds come from legitimate sources and not drug dealing, Diamond ordered.
Herrera told the judge he lives alone and is unemployed, but that he plans to hire a private attorney rather than seek a public defender. He has "virtually no criminal history," Laude said.
Herrera faces two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He is also charged with improper turning and failure to signal, both misdemeanors.
"Because of the teamwork of my multijurisdictional task forces, a substantial amount of cocaine has been taken off the streets of DuPage County," Sheriff John Zaruba said in a statement. "Through collaborative efforts in law enforcement, we will continue the fight against illegal drugs in our community."
Herrera does have a valid Firearm Owner's Identification card but must turn over any weapons to police while his case is pending should he bond out, prosecutors said.
He is due in court Oct. 24 before Judge Kathryn Creswell.