The arrests happened after authorities witnessed Modesto Alarcon, 41, of the 1000 block of Grove Street, Aurora, allegedly meet with Juan Fernandez, 39, and Reyna Garcia-Manzanares, 41, both of the 400 block of West Howard Street in Evanston, on Aurora's near west side.
After Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares left the meeting separately from Alarcon, police conducted a traffic stop on their vehicle and found more than $190,000 in cash, according to police.
A search of Alarcon's Grove Street home yielded nine kilograms of heroin, $85,000 in cash, a handgun, ammunition and items consistent with drug distribution, police said.
According to police, the heroin has a street value of of $1.35 million.
Alarcon is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and money laundering, all felonies, according to a press release issued Wednesday by Aurora police.
He is being held on $15 million bond and has an April 18 court date, according to police.
Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares were each charged with one count of money laundering, police said. They were ordered held on $500,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court April 11.
“Heroin is dangerously addictive and often deadly, and it plagues nearly every community throughout the Chicago area,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the statement. “This seizure removes from circulation a significant amount of heroin that otherwise would have been distributed throughout the Chicago suburbs.”
McMahon called the arrests a "meaningful victory" in fighting the heroin epidemic.The heroin seizure is one of the largest by a Kane County law-enforcement agency, police said. The Kane County Sheriff’s Office in April 2011 seized seven kilograms of heroin from a vehicle stopped along Interstate 90 in Elgin. The driver of that vehicle, an El Paso, Texas, woman, pleaded guilty in December 2011 in Kane County court to unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The woman told authorities that she was working with a Mexican drug cartel and that the heroin was being transported from Mexico to the Chicago area.
If convicted of all charges, Alarcon could face a sentence of 15 to 60 years in prison, while Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares each face sentences of four to 15 years.In order to post bond, all three would have to prove that the source of the money is legitimate before they can be released.