A federal investigation had dismantled a Mexico-to-Chicago cocaine pipeline, and as a result, ten individuals are facing criminal charges. Law enforcement had seized about 18 kilograms of cocaine, and more than $300,000 is suspended illicit drug proceeds during the investigation. South Loop and Streeterville neighborhoods of Chicago, as well as suburban locations, were the alleged drug trafficked areas.
On Wednesday, the indictments returned to U.S. District Court in Chicago. Two of the defendants remain at large. Their arrest warrants are issued. For the remaining eight, arraignments have not yet been scheduled. John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the charges.
Milwaukee, Wisc., Field Division of the DEA, Calumet City Police Department, Chicago Police Department, Evergreen Park Police Department, Gurnee Police Department, Oak Park Police Department, Palos Heights Police Department, Peoria Police Department, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service provided substantial assistance.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys A.J. Dixon and Ashley A. Chung. According to the indictments and criminal complaints previously filed in the case. 30-year old Andres Villegas had worked with suppliers in Mexico to transport cocaine into the United States. The charges allege that Villegas had conspired with a network of traffickers to distribute the drugs in the Chicago area.
Several drug transactions had been described in the charges that happen last year in Chicago and the suburbs. One deal had occurred in a high-rise parking garage in the Streeterville neighborhood on Chicago’s Near North Side. According to the charges, another deal occurred in a parking garage in the South Loop neighborhood on the city’s Near South Side.