These federal drug charge arrests were announced by Robert Shields, who is the acting special agent in charge of the FBI in Chicago. Also involved in the arrests were Jack Riley, special agent from the DEA; Gary Hartwig, special agent from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Garry Mccarthy, chief of the Chicago Police Department.
All of the defendants were taken into police custody in the early AM hours on Oct. 1 in various locations in Chicago. They all appeared the next day in front of US Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin. All were ordered to be held in jail until their next court appearance. The charges were in seven different criminal complaints that were filed in early October. All of the complaints were unsealed after their arrests. All of the defendants were charged with different types of felony narcotics charges. Those who were arrested included:
- Abel Acosta – distributing cocaine
- Victor Arredondo – conspiracy to distribute cocaine
- Jose Brizuela – distributing cocaine
- Miguel Chavez – distributing cocaine
- Leonel Monarrez – possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
- Jaime Navar – distributing cocaine
- Horacio Ramirez – conspiracy to distribute cocaine
The federal investigation that lead to the charges and arrests is a small part of a large effort by state, local and federal authorities to ID and dismantle drug trafficking groups in the US and especially in the Chicago area. In addition to the charges listed above, this investigation, which began in 2011, resulted in the October arrests of several other people who were involved in federal drug crimes.
Federal investigators have used highly sophisticated physical surveillance techniques, telephone intercepts that were authorized by court order, and the authorized purchase of cocaine in the conduct of a federal investigation.
If the men are convicted on these federal drug charges, all face prison terms of 20 to 40 years. For some there is a mandatory five year prison sentence. Also, each face fines in the range of $1 million to $5 million.
This federal investigation was done by the US Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, or OCDETF.
Shields expressed his appreciation to the Berwyn Police Department for its help during the federal investigation, and also to the Hammond Police Department for helping with the arrest of Brizuela.