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4 Chicago-area men charged with drug trafficking

WHEATON, Ill. — Four local men, including a father and his two sons, were charged Friday with felony drug trafficking following a multi-agency investigation into illegal drug sales in the United States.

These charges were announced by DuPage County (Illinios) State's Attorney Robert Berlin. The charges resulted from a coordinated effort between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the DuPage State's Attorney's Office, the Addison (Illinois) Police Department, and the Elgin (Illinois) Police Department's Special Investigations Division.

The following individuals are each charged with one count of unlawfully manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance, a Class X Felony: Luis Hernandez, 47; Jose Hernandez, 27; and Andres Hernandez, 24, all of Elgin, Illinois. Luis Hernandez is the father of both Jose and Andres Hernandez. All three were taken into custody without incident.

Orlando Pacheco-Ramos, 28, of Addison, Illinois, has also been charged with one count of unlawfully manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance, a Class X Felony, and other traffic offenses.

On July 01, HSI Chicago received a tip related to an out-of-state currency seizure. On July 24, HSI special agents and local authorities located a residence in Elgin related to the currency seizure and began conducting surveillance. It is alleged that the four defendants conducted a narcotics transaction in Addison. A traffic stop was subsequently conducted on Pacheco-Ramos's vehicle, where authorities recovered seven kilograms (15 ½ pounds) of heroin with an approximate street value of $700,000. A large quantity of U.S. currency was also recovered from Pacheco-Ramos' residence.

"For the second time in as many weeks, through the collaborative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, we have taken a large amount of extremely dangerous narcotics off our streets," Berlin said. "Drug dealers do not recognize boundaries and for us to make progress in ridding our communities of dangerous street drugs, it is imperative that we all work together to hold those responsible for peddling this poison to our children. I would like to thank HSI Chicago as well as the Addison and Elgin Police Departments for their fine work on this case and for their continued efforts in clearing our streets of dangerous narcotics. I would also like to thank Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Laude for his work in preparing strong cases against these four defendants."

If convicted, each of the four defendants faces up to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges and are not proof of the defendants' guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government's burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.