Neighborhood Drug Conspiracies Exposed
CHICAGO – Thirteen
defendants, including four alleged leaders of a faction of the Latin
The defendants include Jose
Jaramillo, 22, of Chicago, identified in
the complaint affidavit
The affidavit details conversations and transactions that resulted in charges against two alleged cocaine suppliers, defendants Gabino-Carrera, 24, and Moises Tirado, 27, both of Hammond. During a conversation on May 16, agents and police officers learned that several Latin Kings, including Melero, Jose Jaramillo and Valles allegedly were gathering to retaliate against a rival street gang for the shooting earlier that day of a Latin King nicknamed “Lucifer.” DEA agents subsequently joined the already heavy presence of Chicago police officers to saturate the Pullman and Kensington neighborhoods to prevent further violence. Later information disclosed that the joint DEA/CPD presence did in fact prevent the defendants from immediately retaliating.
On Aug. 18, information obtained resulted in the seizure of approximately 10 kilograms of powder cocaine and a kilogram of marijuana from the trunk of a car driven by defendant Cesar Herrera, 29, of Hammond. Herrera was stopped after following a vehicle being driven by Carrera and they were observed communicating via direct connect mobile phones, the complaint alleges. Two days later, Carerra told Valles in a conversation that he thought the officers were “feds” and that he and Herrera were “caught,” according to the affidavit.
Also charged in the conspiracy were Melero’s father, Adam Melero, Sr., 53, of Chicago; Sandra Del Real, 21, of Lansing, who is identified as Valles’ girlfriend; Daniel Kawzinski, 41, of Lake Station, Ind.; Jason Hardin, 25, of Rantoul; Joel Jacinto, 44, of Highland, Ind.; and Leonard Valencia, 43, of Chicago. Those arrested early today were Jose Jaramillo, Valles, Tirado, Del Real, Hardin and Valencia, while Hugo Melero was already in custody. All 13 defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana since February. Those arrested today appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow beginning.
The arrests and charges were announced by Richard W. Sanders, Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA-Chicago, Chicago Police Superintendent Philip J. Cline, and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The DEA and the CPD coordinated the investigation through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force. The Illinois State Police and the Hammond, Ind., Police Department also assisted in the investigation. The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy J. Chapman and Maribel Fernandez-Harvath.
If convicted, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10
years in prison and
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