Tip leads to Aurora fugitive wanted on federal drug charges
Life on the lam came to an abrupt end for a former Aurora man accused of distributing large amounts of heroin and other drugs into the suburbs.
Eric D. Coachman, 47, formerly of the 700 block of Concord Street in Aurora, is now in federal custody, facing federal drug charges after Aurora police received an Aurora Area Crime Stoppers tip about his location. Officers arrested him about 9 a.m. Monday on the 200 block of East 71st Street in Chicago.
Coachman was on the run since at least November 2014 when he narrowly avoided being nabbed in an investigation staged by Aurora police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"This arrest is a perfect example of the old adage, 'you can run but you cannot hide,'" Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a written statement. "It also demonstrates that those with information on the criminal element yield great power in helping to keep our streets safe when they share what they know with law enforcement."
Coachman was one of 19 men charged in the yearlong "Operation Blue Flame" investigation that targeted members and associates of four Aurora street gangs who allegedly distributed heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics. He was charged federally with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. The other 17 were charged under state statutes.
During the investigation, officers conducted 40 undercover drug buys, seizing 47 grams of heroin with a street value of $5,600 and 256 grams of cocaine with a street value of $25,600.
All of the suspects were targeted due to their extensive criminal histories including arrests and charges in connection with past weapons and drug offenses, aggravated batteries, mob actions, and other crimes. Several of the defendants were either on probation or parole when they were charged.
All except one of the men, Kelly C. Stephens, 45, whose last known Aurora address was in the 400 block of North Avenue, have been taken into custody. Stephens remains wanted for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance under state law.
Anyone with information on Stephens' whereabouts is asked to call Aurora police at (630) 256-5600 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at (630) 892-1000.