Aurora home search turns up 9 kilograms of heroin

Tribune reporter

Police in Aurora discovered a heroin stash with a street value of well over $1 million during a home search on Tuesday, one of the largest-ever seizures of the drug by a Kane County law enforcement agency, authorities said.

The search on Tuesday, conducted at a home on Grove Street, also turned up a handgun, $85,000 in cash, and "items consistent with drug distribution," police said in a news release today.

Police conducted the search after investigators from the city's police department and the Department of Homeland Security observed a meeting between three people on the city's near west side, according to police.

Two of the three people, Juan C. Fernandez and Reyna Garcia-Manzanares, left the meeting in a vehicle that was stopped and searched by police, authorities said. Police found more than $190,000 in cash inside the vehicle, police said.

Police also searched the Grove Street home of Modesto Alarcon, 41, the third person at the meeting, authorities said. Nine kilograms of heroin were found during the search — a quantity with an estimated street value of $1.35 million — along with the handgun, cans and other items, according to police.

Modesto Alarcon was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and money laundering. Alarcon appeared via video in Kane County bond court Wednesday as a judge set bail at $15 million.

Fernandez and Garcia-Manzanares, both of Evanston, were each charged with one count of money laundering. Both appeared in bond court today, and bail for each was set at $500,000.

Police said the heroin stash was one of the largest that a Kane County law enforcement agency has ever seized.

“Heroin is dangerously addictive and often deadly, and it plagues nearly every community throughout the Chicago area," today's release quotes Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon as saying. "This seizure removes from circulation a significant amount of heroin that otherwise would have been distributed throughout the Chicago suburbs."

Twitter: @AdamSege

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