Lake County sheriff's office: 8 gang members arrested, drugs and guns seized
Eight members of a street gang known as "Satan Disciple" accused of involvement in drug dealing and violent acts across Lake County were arrested in a coordinated effort led by the Lake County sheriff's office, officials said Thursday.
The arrests, which took place Wednesday in Lake County and southern Wisconsin, were the culmination of an investigation that began more than a year ago. The action mostly dismantled the gang and included the seizure of drugs with a street value of nearly $500,000, sheriff's Lt. Christopher Covelli said in a news release.
Other items seized by police included firearms, ammunition, thousands of dollars in cash and drug dealing paraphernalia, according to the release.
Two members of the gang remain wanted by authorities.
During the investigation, sheriff's detectives stopped two planned drive-by shootings the gang was set to carry out, the release stated.
"The tireless work of our detectives and partner agencies undoubtedly stopped instances of coldblooded murder from taking place in our county," Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement. "I could not be prouder of the hard work of our detectives and I am incredibly thankful for the terrific partnerships we have with our local and federal partners."
Idleburg said busts like the one against "Satan Disciple" were the reason his office refocused the special investigations group on violent drug traffickers.
The special investigations group is made up of detectives, agents and staff from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and Homeland Security, and local law enforcement partners such as Lake County forest preserve police, Lake County state's attorney's office and the North Chicago, Park City, Round Lake Beach, Wauconda, Waukegan and Zion police departments.
Four suspects arrested Wednesday were wanted on federal charges. They are:
• Robert Spurlock, 36, of Beach Park, charged with distributing cocaine and illegally possessing a loaded handgun with an obliterated serial number.
• Kurt Nash, Jr., 34, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, charged with distributing cocaine on two occasions.
• Rafael Alvarez-Murillo, 27, of Waukegan, charged with distributing methamphetamine and illegally possessing a handgun.
• Jason Najera-Prado, 31, of Waukegan, charged with illegally possessing two handguns.
Spurlock, Alvarez-Murillo, and Najera-Prado are felons who are not allowed to possess firearms.
Spurlock, Nash, and Najera-Prado pleaded not guilty during arraignments Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. Arraignment for Alvarez-Murillo will be scheduled at a later date.
Lake County sheriff's office identified the other arrestees as:
• Quentin L. Newbrey, 31, of the 4000 block of Ridge Road in Zion, charged with armed habitual criminal, unlawful firearm sale and two counts of aggravated unlawful possession of a weapon
• Carl P. Marder-Grant, 27, of the 500 block of Chestnut Street in Waukegan, charged with unlawful firearm sale and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
• Darryl Benjamin, 38, of the 1000 block of Lakehurst Drive in Waukegan, charged with two counts unlawful possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
• Gilberto Alvarado-Cuen, 29, of the 3400 block of Ted Avenue in Park City, charged with two counts unlawful possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Authorities said the two gang members who remain at large are: Anthony Brown, 39, of the 100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Lake Villa, who is wanted on five counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and five counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance; and Eric W. Gragen, 39, of the 8000 block of 48th Avenue in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who is wanted on three counts of straw purchasing of a firearm.