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On August 25, 2020, at approximately 2:00PM, a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle at Wadsworth Road and Green Bay Road, Beach Park, for a traffic infraction. During the traffic stop, Lake County Sheriff’s K9 Duke conducted a free-air sniff around the vehicle in question. K9 Duke indicated there was contraband in the trunk of the vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies conducted a search of the trunk based on K9 Duke’s indication and located five pounds of methamphetamine, over 700 grams of cocaine, and over 20 grams of heroin. Additionally, a stolen firearm and a money counting machine were located in the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle, Brandon Hidalgo-Flores, 23, of the 5000 block of South California Avenue, Chicago, and the other occupants, Efren Valadez, 38, of the 5000 block of South California Avenue, Chicago (a documented street gang member), and Jose Lopez-Arellanes, 52, no permanent address, were arrested.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group conducted further investigation. During their investigation they obtained sufficient information to believe additional drugs were at an apartment in the 1900 block of Drake Avenue, Chicago.
The Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group obtained a search warrant for the apartment on Drake Avenue. Special Investigations Group Detectives were assisted by Chicago Police Officers in the execution of the search warrant. The search warrant resulted in an additional seizure of nearly two pounds of methamphetamine, over 250 grams of heroin, over 40 grams of cocaine, oxycodone pills, morphine pills, another firearm, and a device commonly used to ‘cut’ drugs and repackage them in kilogram bricks.
After reviewing the facts and circumstances of the investigation the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the following charges:
Manufacturing/Delivery of more than 400 Grams of Cocaine
Manufacturing/Delivery of more than 15 Grams of Heroin
Manufacturing more than 900 Grams of Methamphetamine
Possession of more than 900 Grams of Methamphetamine
Possession of more than 400 Grams of Cocaine
Possession of more than 15 Grams of Heroin
Lopez-Arellanes is being held in the Lake County Jail on $500,000.00 bond. He is due in court on September 1, 2020, in courtroom T-110.
Possession of a Stolen Firearm
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Valadez is being held in the Lake County Jail on $500,000.00 bond. He is due in court on September 2, 2020, in courtroom T-110
Hidalgo-Flores remains held in the Lake County Jail on $500,000.00 bond. He is due in court on August 31, 2020, in courtroom T-110
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “I am extremely proud of our deputies and the members of our Special Investigations Group who successfully removed a total of nearly seven pounds of methamphetamine and other deadly drugs from our community. Having recently received a federal HIDTA designation, our Special Investigation Group will have even more ability to keep drugs out of our community.”
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.