Cops: Two arrested, more than $1 million in drugs seized in Chicago Heights bust
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org January 9, 2013 6:00PM
Juan Serrano | Supplied photo
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:31AM
Two Chicago Heights men are facing felony drug charges after federal authorities seized more than $1 million worth of drugs during a bust in Chicago Heights earlier this month.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, working in conjunction with the Chicago Heights police, arrested Raul Rangel-Dominguez and Juan Serrano Jr. on Jan. 4 at a house in the 400 block of West 15th Street, Chicago Heights, police said Wednesday.
Rangel-Dominguez was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and Serrano was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, armed violence and unlawful use of weapon by a felon, police said.
Bail was set at $100,000 each for both men on Jan. 6 and they are next due in court Feb. 2 at the Markham Courthouse, according to court records.
Police recovered a little more than 7 pounds of cocaine, about a pound of heroin, a Romanian-made AK-47 assault rifle, a Desert Eagle .50-caliber pistol, and Serrano’s car, a 2004 Nissan 350Z convertible, police said.
Chicago Heights Police Chief Charles Guiliani said the confiscation of the weapons was a “big issue,” for the department.
“Any time you get weapons like this off the streets, in our opinion, you’re eventually saving a life,” Guiliani said.
Guiliani said the department’s community policing unit had been working with the federal investigators since April. He said federal agents estimated the street value of the drugs at about $1 million and said the investigation is ongoing.
According to police, Rangel-Dominguez was trying to buy the cocaine from Serrano for $106,000.
Police searched Serrano’s car and found the drugs and the pistol in a hidden compartment in the car’s back speakers. Searches of Serrano’s properties recovered the assault rifle with a 100-round drum magazine and about 6-1/2 pounds of an unidentified white powder.
While city officials called the bust one of the biggest in the city’s history, DEA agents in Chicago Heights stopped a delivery of nearly 11 tons of marijuana from Mexico packed in six rail cars in December 2010.