13 people face charges in massive drug bust
Thirteen people are facing federal drug charges for distributing cocaine, heroin and fentanyl on Chicago's Northwest Side and western suburbs, authorities said.
The more than two-year federal investigation, which included undercover surveillance, resulted in seizures of roughly 52 kilograms of cocaine, 45 kilograms of heroin, more than 13 kilograms of fentanyl and a pound of methamphetamines, authorities said.
It was led jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Chicago Strike Force.
The defendants face charges for various narcotics offenses in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Five of the defendants were apprehended Wednesday, while five others were caught earlier this year. Authorities are on the hunt for three defendants considered fugitives.
Assisting with the investigation were the Chicago Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, Illinois State Police, DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, LaSalle County Sheriff's Office, and police departments in Downers Grove, Berwyn and Peru, Illinois.
The investigation uncovered numerous illegal drug transactions, including distribution of 3 kilograms of cocaine on a street in Melrose Park, and the distribution of 5 kilograms of fentanyl at a gas station in Aurora, authorities said.
Authorities said Aurelio Abrego, 45, of Chicago, and Jose Miguel Perez, 54, of Chicago, worked together to obtain wholesale quantities of cocaine and heroin from others and distributed the drugs to wholesale customers. Reports said the duo received the drugs from Javier Moreno, 49, of Chicago, and Richard Alvarado, 28, of Chicago, for distribution. Fernelly Llanos, 51, of Chicago, and Pedro Saavedra-Fitz, 28, of Chicago, served as brokers, supplying smaller distribution quantities of the narcotics to wholesale customers on credit and collected proceeds after the customers sold the narcotics, according to the complaints. One of the wholesale customers was Fernando Gomez, 30, of Schiller Park, reports said.
Abrego, Perez, Alvarado, Gomez and Llanos were taken into custody Wednesday on charges of drug distribution. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason scheduled detention hearings for Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ricardo Castaneda, 31, of Peru; Santos Godina, 32, of West Brooklyn, Illinois; Eugene Alexander, 44, of Bensenville; and Jennifer Reppin, 33, of Peru, were charged with drug distribution in May. They are awaiting trial.
Defendant Carlos Fuentes, 40, of Riverside, was charged in an indictment with drug distribution. Fuentes remains in federal custody since his January arrest. He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Saavedra-Fitz and Moreno are fugitives, as is Rolando Estrada, 41, of Elmwood Park. The three face drug distribution charges, authorities said.