DuPage-Kane Task Force Yields Drug Arrest, Seizure of Cocaine and Fentanyl
A Melrose Park man is the first to be charged in a joint task force operation between the Kane and DuPage County sheriff’s offices. DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser announced Saturday.
Berlin and Mosser said that Jose R. Valdez, 44 (d.o.b. 9-9-1977), of the 1300 block of North 24th Avenue, has been charged with one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver Cocaine (Class X felony), one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver Fentanyl, one count of Possession with Intent to Deliver Cannabis (Class 3 felony), and one count of Installing a False Compartment in a Vehicle to Transport a Firearm or Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony).
Valdez appeared at a bond hearing this morning where Judge Daniel Guerin set bond at $500,000 with 10% to apply. At the hearing, Judge Guerin also granted the State’s motion for a proof of funds hearing at which Valdez must prove that any funds used for bond were not gained by illegal activity.
Kane and DuPage County prosecutors allege that on December 1, 2021, a Kane County sheriff’s deputy, assigned to the new DuKane Sheriff’s Task Force, stopped a vehicle that was eastbound on Interstate 88 near the Route 59 exit in DuPage County after observing multiple alleged traffic violations.
Valdez, the alleged driver, was the vehicle’s lone occupant. During the stop, the deputy conducted a lawful search of the vehicle and allegedly found more than 900 grams of cocaine, between 15 and 100 grams of fentanyl and between 200 and 500 grams of marijuana. The deputy also allegedly found hidden compartments that had been added to the vehicle.
“I commend DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and their offices for their work not only on this case, but also for their ongoing, pro-active efforts in keeping dangerous narcotics off our streets,” Berlin said.
“While we will never know for sure, it is quite possible that considering the amount of fentanyl allegedly found in this case, multiple lives were saved. I also thank State’s Attorney Mosser for her office’s assistance throughout this entire case.”
“Given the complexities of drug dealing and trafficking, and the efforts taken to surreptitiously disguise these illegal practices, it is important for multiple jurisdictions to work together to stop drug dealers from bringing dangerous drugs into our communities,” Mosser said.
“I appreciate the cooperative work of the Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain and DuPage County Sheriff Jim Mendrick to keep our communities safe. Our office plans to work cooperatively with State’s Attorney Berlin to see that Mr. Valdez is held accountable for his crimes.”
“I’m happy that our new cooperative effort is bearing fruit so fast,” Mendrick said.
“Most troubling about this arrest is the amount of deadly fentanyl that was destined to wreak more havoc on our community. Nationwide, our overdose rates are at an all-time high and what we took off the road Wednesday is what’s contributing to those numbers.”
“This important arrest and dangerous drug seizure is the result of the high level of training, experience and commitment our detectives possess, along with the force-multiplier and excellent professional relationship they maintain with their DuPage counterparts and Sheriff Mendrick,” Hain said.
Valdez’s next court appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m., January 5, 2022, for arraignment in front of Judge Guerin.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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