Two men face charges after police find $4.3M worth of drugs

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    Two out-of-state men accused of storing 44 pounds of cocaine and nearly 7 pounds of heroin in a residential garage on Joliet’s north side remained in the Will County Adult Detention Facility today in lieu of $1 million bail.

    The inter-agency Will County Gang Suppression Unit arrested Arnoldo Pena-Estrada, 31, of Sonoma County, Calif., and Jose Martin Elenes-Iquerra, 44, of Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday near the garage on the 1000 block of Nicholson Street.

    They are scheduled to appear in Will County court March 9 on charges of manufacture/delivery of more than 900 grams of cocaine and manufacture/deliver of more than 900 grams of heroin – both Class X felonies, and money laundering, a Class 1 felony.

    Unit members place the street value of the drugs at $4.3 million, said Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas of the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

    Kaupas said unit members, acting on a tip, staked out the location, then stopped an Acura sports utility vehicle occupied by the two men as it left the location on a traffic violation. A Joliet Police canine indicated there were drugs in the vehicle, providing probable cause for a search, Kaupas said.

    The gang suppression unit, which includes officers from other law enforcement agencies, found $120,000 in 24 bundles – primarily $100s, $50s and $20s – in a secret compartment in the vehicle, he said.
    Kaupas said that amount of money was consistent with established drug dealers’ practice of making a down payment for a quantity of drugs, and then paying the remainder later.

    “We have every reason to believe these guys were in a longstanding narcotics ring,” Kaupas said.

    Unit members entered the garage after obtaining permission from a third man, who isn’t suspected of involvement, Kaupas said.

    Inside the garage, police found 20,000 kilograms of cocaine and 3 kilograms of heroin in a second vehicle.

    “By the looks of it, it probably came from someplace south of the border,” Kaupas said of the packaged drugs. “We’re surmising it will be quite pure.”
    Kaupas said Pena-Estrada and Elenes-Iquerra weren’t armed and didn’t resist.

    Two men face charges after police find $4.3M worth of drugs — Joliet news, photos and events — TribLocal.com

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