Another $500,000 in marijuana seized in Lake County

  • A police dog stands watch over some of an estimated $500,000 in marijuana police seized in Ingleside Monday, as part of an ongoing investigation into a cartel-affiliated drug ring.

    A police dog stands watch over some of an estimated $500,000 in marijuana police seized in Ingleside Monday, as part of an ongoing investigation into a cartel-affiliated drug ring. Courtesy of Round Lake Park Police Department

  • Maria T. Villa-Mauleon

    Maria T. Villa-Mauleon

 
 
Updated 10/18/2017 1:56 PM

Lake County authorities seized another $500,000 in marijuana Monday stemming an ongoing investigation into a cartel-affiliated drug ring that already had netted an estimated $3 million of the drug, authorities said.

Officers from the Round Lake Park Police Department, the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System Emergency Services Team and the Lake County Sheriff's Office found about 100 pounds of marijuana at a home in the 34000 Block of Bergen Street in Ingleside, Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said Wednesday.

 

Police said the Ingleside address is linked to Maria T. Villa-Mauleon, 30, of 400 block of Meadow Green in Round Lake Beach. She was arrested last week after authorities seized about 600 pounds of marijuana from her home and a storage unit in her name.

Villa-Mauleon remains in custody at the Lake County jail on $1 million bail facing charges of unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis. She also faces a weapons charge stemming from the discovery of a loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and additional ammunition, authorities say.

The Ingleside house was vacant at the time of the search and no additional arrests were made.

Villa-Mauleon's arrest came after Jose Avila-Zumadio, 32, of Guadalajara, Mexico, was pulled over on a traffic violation Oct. 7 near Route 134 and Fairlawn Drive in Round Lake Park, Filenko said.

During an inventory of Avila-Zumadio's vehicle, police recovered a forged Mexican passport, $1,900 in cash, and about 3¼ pounds of marijuana with a street value of approximately $15,000, police said.

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Avila-Zumadio told investigators he was working for a cartel out of Guadalajara, Mexico, but refused to say more out of fear for his family's safety, Filenko said. He is charged with unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, unlawful possession of cannabis and forgery. He remains held in the Lake County jail on $500,000 bail.

The arrest led police to Villa-Mauleon's Round Lake Beach home and storage unit last week, and then the Ingleside property on Monday.

"This demonstrates that patrol officers are the bread and butter of police work," Filenko said Wednesday. "A simple traffic stop turned into one of the largest seizures of cannabis in the region's history."

Villa-Mauleon is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 9 for a preliminary hearing.

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