Aurora man with 48 pounds of cocaine, heroin gets 19½-year prison term

  • Gabriel Aguilar-Velez must serve 75 percent of his 19½-year prison term.

    Gabriel Aguilar-Velez must serve 75 percent of his 19½-year prison term.

Updated 4/18/2019 6:52 PM

A third Aurora man has been sentenced to 19½ years in prison after pleading guilty this week to a 2017 bust in which authorities seized 11 kilograms each of cocaine and heroin -- which is equivalent to 24 pounds of each drug.

Gabriel Aguilar-Velez, 31, who was arrested in July 2017, was set for a bench trial in Kane County this week before Judge David Kliment on a host of felony charges, including calculated drug conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, court records show.


If convicted of the most severe charges, Aguilar-Velez faced a top punishment of 60 years in prison.

Aguilar-Velez instead pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; he can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior in prison.

According to authorities, Aguilar-Velez was charged after an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security and other agencies led to his arrest in which 11 kilograms each of cocaine and heroin were found in a spare tire in his vehicle after an arrest in Kendall County.

The Illinois attorney general's office prosecuted the case along with the Kane County state's attorney's office.

Until this week, authorities declined to elaborate or specify on the amount of drugs seized in the case; Annie Thompson, spokeswoman for at the attorney general's office, said the drugs have an estimated street value of $2 million.

Also arrested were Juan Carlos Rivera-Arroyo, 35, and Israel Tavizon, 36, both of Aurora, on charges they were conspiring to distribute the cocaine and heroin in Kane County.

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Rivera-Arroyo and Tavizon both pleaded guilty and are serving prison terms of 19 years and 19½ years, respectively, authorities said.

"Cocaine is the substance involved in most drug arrests in Kane County, and 135 people have died from opioid overdoes in Kane County the last two years," said Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon. "I'm pleased to work with the Aurora police, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office to root out the drug dealers from our suburban cities."

Aguilar-Velez gets credit for about 20 months served at the Kane County jail where he was held on $2 million bail while the case was pending.

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