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DEA sting nets $300,000 in heroin in Addison.

Byline: Justin Kmitch jkmitch@dailyherald.com

DEA sting nets $300,000 in heroin in Addison

Bail was set at $300,000 each for two Addison men accused of agreeing to sell 1 kilogram of heroin, worth up to $300,000 on the street, to undercover DEA agents.

Luis Ortiz, 24, of the 500 block of Stevens Drive, and Christian Cardenas, 23, of the 700 block of N. Lincoln Avenue, are each charged with manufacturing or delivering 900 grams or more of heroin. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 to 60 years if convicted.

DuPage County Judge John Kinsella also granted the prosecutor's motion for a proof of funds hearing at which the defendants will have to prove that any funds used toward bail were not illegally obtained.

Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Lindt told Kinsella on Wednesday that undercover agents had been negotiating with Ortiz to purchase a kilogram of cocaine, but at some point, negotiations turned toward the purchase of a kilogram of heroin.

Lindt said Ortiz and the agents agreed to make the transaction Tuesday at a used car dealership co-owned by Cardenas.

After seeing the heroin at the dealership, the agents told Ortiz and Cardenas they would leave but return with the cash to make the deal. Ortiz and Cardenas then moved the heroin to a car on the dealership lot, authorities said.

The agents returned a short time later with a search warrant for the dealership, and Ortiz and Cardenas were arrested as they attempted to flee out the back door, authorities said.

Agents found the heroin during a search. Lindt said they also found several shotguns, pistols and rifles in Cardenas' office. Cardenas had a valid FOID card.

Lindt said Cardenas has drug connections in Mexico and acted as the supplier, while Ortiz's role in the operation was to gain customers.

"In 2018, more than half of the 98 opioid deaths in DuPage County were heroin related," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a written statement. "One kilogram of heroin is an extraordinary amount with a street value of between $200,000 and $300,000. Most concerning, however, is the number of deaths that amount of heroin could cause. Thanks to the efforts of the DEA and the Addison Police Department however, that kilo of heroin will never make it to the streets."

Cardenas is scheduled to be arraigned May 22, and Ortiz will be arraigned May 23, both before Kinsella.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 2, 2019
Words:409
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