Drug Enforcement Administration


Brian M. McKnight, Special Agent in Charge

May 18, 2018

Contact: Cori Rizman

Phone Number: (312) 353-7875

Suburban Man Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Leading Chicago-area Cell Of International Drug Trafficking Organization

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Chicago has sentenced a suburban man to 16 years in prison for leading a Chicago-area cell of an international drug trafficking organization.

Jesus Salgado ran a stash house in Bensenville where heroin and cash from drug sales were stored.  He also sold drugs in the Chicago area.  Before meeting with customers, Jesus Salgado would often pick up the heroin from the stash house, and then drop off the proceeds at the house after the sales.

Jesus Salgado was charged as part of “Operation Over the Top,” a federal probe that spanned more than two years and disrupted a Mexico-to-Chicago drug pipeline.  Authorities seized four kilograms of heroin from the Bensenville stash house and shut it down as part of the investigation.  The probe was led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and conducted under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF).

Jesus Salgado, 25, of Bensenville, pleaded guilty last year to a drug conspiracy charge.  U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey imposed the 16-year sentence Wednesday in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by Brian M. McKnight, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Division of the DEA; John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

“The streets of this city are made immeasurably more dangerous because of the drug trade,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly M. Greening, Misty Wright and John Cooke argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “People like defendant, who regularly supplied kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine to wholesale buyers, perpetuate the drug trafficking crisis in Chicago and all that goes with it, including addiction, crime, and violence.”

Jesus Salgado’s drug-dealing operation was allegedly overseen by his father, Lorenzo Salgado, who resides in Mexico but communicated with his son via phone, according to the indictment filed against both men.  Lorenzo Salgado allegedly directed the narcotics sales and the subsequent transportation of the proceeds to Mexico.  Lorenzo Salgado is charged with drug conspiracy and is considered a fugitive.

In his written plea agreement, Jesus Salgado stated that he operated the Bensenville stash house with his girlfriend, Ruby Joy Buenaventura, 27, of Chicago, and that he and Buenaventura delivered drugs to customers in the Chicago area.  One of the deals occurred in a grocery store parking lot in Bensenville on May 3, 2016, when Jesus Salgado delivered two kilograms of heroin to Sergio Arevalo-Gomez, 23, of Chicago.

Arevalo-Gomez pleaded guilty to a drug distribution charge and was sentenced last year to four years in prison.  Buenaventura also pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced last year to three years in prison.

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