Feds: Major heroin ring busted in Chicago area
Handcuffs (Tribune photo illustration)
On Thursday the U.S. Attorney's office announced charges against 11 members of a ring responsible for multi-kilo amounts of drugs being sold in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
Ten suspects were arrested Wednesday while one person from Madison, Wis., remained a fugitive, acting U.S. Attorney from the Northern District Gary S. Shapiro said in a release.
Starting in 2010 the confidential source, termed CS-1,
began giving information to the Drug Enforcement Administration about drug sales and money laundering by a Mexican-based cartel throughout the U.S., including Chicago and Atlanta.
According to the affidavits for the six separate criminal informations filed in this case and others, a high-ranking member of the cartel in 2011 asked the CS-1 to be responsible for the organization's operations in the Chicago area.
The informant worked with the Mexican-based cartel while under the supervision of the DEA, which cooperated with various local law enforcement groups to build the case.
During the investigation, the DEA seized about 21.5 kilograms of heroin and 5 kilograms of cocaine, including finding a large amount of heroin in a car being towed March 5, 2012, near the intersection of Armitage and Wolcott avenues in Chicago.
Authorities said various other drug sales were documented via physical and electronic surveillance by those involved in a DEA-led task force with officers from the Chicago, Berwyn, Brookfield, Lansing, and Summit police departments, as well as assistance from DEA offices in Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., Houston, Dallas and McAllen, Texas, and Indianapolis. Elgin police helped with Wednesday's arrests.
This summer the high-ranking member of the cartel who was the connection to CS-1 was killed in Mexico, and the task force began to wind up the investigation.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, those charged are:
--Mario Coria, 46, of Chicago
--Omar Coria, 35, Mario's brother, also of Chicago
--Alberto Guadarrama, 29, of Bartlett
--Juan Vigil, 65, of Houston
--Domingo Macedo Jr., 42, of Chicago
--Miguel Beltran, 36, of Chicago
--Lorenzo Trujillo, 22, of Evanston
--Victor Manuel Contreras, 43,of Elgin
--Mario Ortiz, 34, of Elgin
--Orlando Penaloza, 28, of Harvard, Ill.
--Miguel Ortuno-Gomez, 30, of Madison, Wis.
All of the defendants face various federal drug-trafficking charges involving heroin or cocaine. Ortuno-Gomez is the only defendant who was not arrested Wednesday and is a fugitive.
Those arrested appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez and were ordered held pending detention hearings scheduled on Monday.
“This operation strikes down a major Mexican criminal organization that routinely distributed high-quality heroin throughout the Midwest,” said Jack Riley, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago DEA office.