News Release
January 23, 2008
Contact: Joanna Zoltay
Number: 312-886-2597

Combined Law Enforcement Effort
Results in Seizure of 50 Kilograms Cocaine

Three Arrested and Charged in Cook County

Cocaine seized from hidden compartment inside vehicle in Country Club Hills
Cocaine seized from hidden compartment inside vehicle in Country Club Hills

JAN 23 -- (Chicago) – Long hours of surveillance by agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Cook County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the seizure of 50 kilograms of cocaine from a Country Club Hills residence. Three people have been arrested and charged in Cook County on possession with intent to distribute cocaine, a Class X felony, which is punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison.

As part of an ongoing investigation, surveillance was conducted by DEA and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department in the vicinity of 3743 W. 168 th Street in Country Club Hills. A vehicle was observed by agents leaving the residence and was stopped by police. With the assistance from a Cook County drug sniffing K-9, 25 kilograms of cocaine were found in a hidden trap compartment of the vehicle. Later that day another vehicle seen leaving the same residence was also stopped by police and an additional 24 kilograms of cocaine were recovered from a hidden compartment underneath the rear seat. A search warrant was obtained from the Cook County State Attorney’s Office for the residence where agents found another kilogram of cocaine, approximately 1000 grams of marijuana, two loaded weapons, approximately $6,500 in U.S. Currency, money counting machines, drug packaging materials, and a sophisticated counter surveillance system.

“This was an illegal drug distribution network set up in a quiet neighborhood, while taking precautions not to be noticed by law enforcement,” stated Gary G. Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Chicago Field Division. “Our working relationship with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and Cook County State Attorney’s Office enabled us to conduct a successful drug investigation.”

The three arrested, Candace Keough age 29 of Gary, Indiana, Brandon Roy age 27 of Gary Indiana, and Desere Howard age 34 of St. Paul, Minnesota, appeared before Judge Kevin Flaherty in Markham, Illinois on Monday, January 21, 2008. Each of the defendants were held on a $1million bail. Their next Cook County court appearance is scheduled for February 11, 2008.

The public is reminded that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.