Two men are accused of trying to distribute between four and 10 pounds of marijuana in the area Lance C. Kleckner, 24, of Moline, and Dillon J. Jannie, 22, of Kewanee, are both charged with possession with intent to deliver between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of a substance containing cannabis, according to Rock Island County court records. Both were arrested Wednesday.
The Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group was listed as the arresting agency. Further details on the arrests were not available Thursday.
Both men were given a $50,000 bail, records state. Mr. Jannie posted bond Thursday, according to the Rock Island County Jail. Mr. Kleckner remained in custody. Both men have court appearances scheduled Aug. 30.
RI man convicted in 21-year-old's fatal heroin overdose
Rachel Warmke 07/01/2016
After two hours of deliberations, a federal jury on Friday convicted a Rock Island man of distributing heroin that resulted in a 21-year-old's death.
Phil Lamont Trent, 51, was found guilty of all counts in the indictment, including heroin distribution resulting in death, conspiring to distribute heroin resulting in death and three counts of heroin distribution. He is set to remain in federal custody pending a Nov. 3 sentencing.
The trial, which began Monday at the federal courthouse in Rock Island, was presided over by Judge Sara Darrow. Prosecutors alleged Mr. Trent distributed heroin that resulted in the death of Tyler Corzette, 21, of Bettendorf, on Aug. 29, 2014.
During four days of testimony, prosecutors said they presented evidence that Mr. Trent conspired with other individuals to distribute heroin in Rock Island from early July through September 2014.
Additionally, they said, Mr. Trent distributed heroin, either by himself or through co-conspirators, to undercover agents on Aug. 13, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 of 2014.
Two other men -- Kyle Hull, 23, and Curtis Land, 53, both of Rock Island, -- also were charged in connection with Mr. Corzette’s death. Both men pleaded guilty May 19, 2015, and are scheduled for July 21 sentencing hearings. The case was investigated by the Rock Island Police Department, with assistance from the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Prosecuting the case were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Allegro and Meredith DeCarlo; Mr. Trent was represented by attorney Murray Bell.
The statutory penalties for distribution of heroin resulting in death and conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death are mandatory prison terms of 20 years to life. Each count of heroin distribution is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Davenport man pleads guilty to cocaine distribution
Rachel Warmke 05/05/2016
A Davenport man pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in a federal cocaine distribution case.
At a hearing before Judge Sara Darrow at Rock Island's federal courthouse, Ovidio Miranda-Cabezas, 39, pleaded guilty to four federal cocaine charges.
The charges -- including conspiracy to distribute, possession and two counts of distribution -- say Mr. Miranda-Cabezas helped to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine between mid-2013 and June 2015.
Federal charges also were brought against co-defendant Vincente Aguilar Jimenes, 33, last known address of East Moline. Mr. Jimenes pleaded guilty in March to three federal charges in connection with the drug investigation and is scheduled to be sentenced July 7 before Judge Darrow.
According to a plea agreement for Mr. Miranda-Cabezas, Mr. Jimenes allegedly received multi-kilogram deliveries of cocaine -- often as much as 10 to 15 kilograms at a time -- from an unnamed source. The drugs then were given to individuals for redistribution to lower-level distributors in central Illinois and other locations, according to the agreement.
The document cites two transactions in 2015 in which Mr. Miranda-Cabezas received a total of 12 kilograms of cocaine from an individual within the distribution ring. The plea agreement said the defendant stored the drugs in his Davenport residence.
The same year, the plea agreement said, Mr. Miranda-Cabezas was involved in several multi-ounce cocaine sales in Rock Island County.
In June 2015, Mr. Miranda-Cabezas met with an undercover police officer who was posing as a drug distributor for an arranged cocaine sale, records said. Mr. Miranda-Cabezas was arrested, and police recovered about one kilogram of cocaine from his car and another approximately five kilograms from his residence, the plea agreement said. An investigation into the case involved members of Moline's Street Crimes Unit and the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group.
At Thursday's hearing, Judge Darrow ordered Mr. Miranda-Cabezas to be held in federal custody pending a Sept. 8 sentencing date. The conspiracy charge is punishable by a mandatory prison term of 10 years to life. Each count of distribution is punishable by up to 20 years in prison; the possession charge requires a mandatory minimum punishment of five to 40 years in prison.
Authorities arrest meth supplier, resulting in other suspects
Thomas Geyer 04/11/2016 Agents with the Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, or MEG, have arrested a man in connection with an international methamphetamine operation that has ties to Mexico, Iowa, Illinois and Arizona among other places, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Davenport.
Cesar Angeles Ballesteros is charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
Ballesteros was ordered detained pending trial during a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court, Davenport. The investigation also resulted in the arrest of five other people.
According to an affidavit filed by MEG agents in federal court in support of the criminal complaint, in early November, agents used a confidential source to investigate the distribution of methamphetamine by Theresa Morales, who was living in Bettendorf.
The confidential source told agents that Morales received large amounts of crystal methamphetamine from a man named Cesar. The source, according to the affidavit, said Morales would travel to where Cesar was and obtain the methamphetamine, including a run to Las Vegas where Morales collected about 10 pounds of methamphetamine, rented and car and drove back to the Quad-City area.
On Nov. 10, according to the affidavit, agents determined that Morales had flown from Chicago to Phoenix and was returning in a particular vehicle.
On Nov. 13, agents located Morales on Interstate 80 and tried to initiate a traffic stop. Before stopping, Morales and her passenger had thrown about eight pounds of methamphetamine from the vehicle, documents stated.
During questioning, according to the affidavit, Morales told agents she traveled to Phoenix and got eight pounds of methamphetamine from two males working through Cesar Angeles Ballesteros. Morales states she had transported meth for Ballesteros about 12 times with the largest amount being 15 pounds.
On March 3, MEG agents interviewed a confidential source who had been arrested on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. The source had purchased at least 3.5 grams of meth per day from a woman named Kimberly Edwards and her boyfriend. The source was introduced to Ballesteros by Edwards.
Then, on March 17, the source contacted MEG agents, saying that Ballesteros had called. The source was told to drive to a Davenport hotel, where the source picked up Abraham Guevara-Ocampo. They then drove to a residence where Ballesteros was.
Later on March 17, MEG agents saw Guevara-Ocampo walk to a 2005 Dodge Caravan with Nevada license plates. He lowered the spare tire and placed it in the back of the van. Later, Edwards arrived in a 2007 Hyundai Entourage. Guevara-Ocampo then transferred the spare tire and a speaker box into Edwards’ car.
After initiating a traffic stop, agents discovered 12 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the spare tire and in the speaker box, according to the affidavit.
During questioning, Edwards admitted to receiving methamphetamine for Ballesteros as recently as January.
Morales’ trial is set for June 6. She is to be tried along with two others, Ashley Marie Palmer and Douglas Ray Lairmore, on charges of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, distribution of drugs and possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Morales also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Edwards and Guevara-Ocampo each are charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. A trial date has not been set for either Edwards or Guevara-Ocampo.
Combating drug activity in the Quad Cities The Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Group, or QC MEG, is one local law enforcement group working all over the Quad Cities to combat illegal substances, including meth.
James Rieck, the Director of QC MEG said,"I don't think it's an epidemic or anything like that, but it's here, it's been here for a while, and we're still dealing with it. "
Rieck said the amount of meth the enforcement group sees has stayed steady in the Quad Cities.
He said the drug is one his teams deals with on a daily basis, "We're doing everything we can to stay on top of it, like I said guys were out most of the day, today, dealing with this very thing."
Rieck said while meth abuse in the Quad Cities hasn't significantly increased, they're seeing more meth come in to the area, as opposed locally home-made meth.
He said, meth known as 'Mexican Ice' has been appearing more in the Quad Cities recently, "It seems like in the last six months that we've been dealing with more meth cases, not to an alarming amount, but there's been more, like I said, brought to our attention of the ice methamphetamine that's being brought into the area"
According to Rieck, a big factor in that increase is legalized marijuana in the U.S, "The drug cartels from Mexico are importing more ice methamphetamine to increase their profits. They lost profit due to the domestic production of cannabis, so they've lost money on cannabis and they're making that money up by pushing ice methamphetamine."
Rieck said QC MEG deals with meth regularly, with a couple of new cases every week.
Davenport Police find drugs, stolen guns in arrests of suspected gang members
David Nelson Published: March 28, 2016, 7:48 am
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Police say on Friday they recovered nearly a dozen firearms, two of them stolen, as they arrested two men suspected of belonging to the Lowrider street gang.
Adan Herrera, 21, and Cody Williamson, 19, both of Davenport, each face multiple charges.
On Friday, officers executed a search warrant at 2115 W. 68th St. in Davenport, where they say Herrera lives.
A complaint filed in court says police recovered an assault rifle, a bolt-action rifle, two 12-gauge shotguns, a 9-mm handgun, two revolvers, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, and nearly 100 grams of “high grade marijuana.” Police say Herrera drove up to his home while they were conducting the search and that he “had a loaded 9mm handgun” in plain view next to him with “an empty holster for the gun on his person.”
Both his father and girlfriend told officers Herrera has been a Lowrider gang member for several years, according to police. Herrera is charged with carrying weapons, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and criminal gang participation. Police say a search of Williamson’s residence at 1301 Warren St. turned up a rifle and three handguns, two of which were reported stolen out of Davenport.
Williamson is charged with two counts of possession of stolen firearms and criminal gang participation. A complaint notes Williamson lives within a thousand feet of the Friendly House which “provides daycare and some schooling services.”
Online records show both Herrera and Williamson were released from custody on bond. Police say the arrests are part of a multi-jurisdictional gun investigation by the Davenport Police Tactical Operations Bureau (TOB) and agents with Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group (QC Meg).
Two arrested in methamphetamine case
Thomas Geyer Mar 12, 2016
Scott County Sheriff's investigators made arrests last week in another methamphetamine conspiracy case.
On Thursday, Cynthia Lynn Reed, 50, of 913 Pius Lane, Bettendorf, was arrested on charges of possession of pseudoephedrine and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony. Each of the charges is a Class D felony that carries up to five years in prison.
According to the arrest affidavit filed by Scott County investigators, Reed has purchased pseudoephedrine 33 times from Oct. 26, 2012, through March 1. The purchases were made in both Scott and Rock Island counties.
Reed purchased the pseudoephedrine and gave it to Chad Kutzman, of 328 E. 12th Ave., Milan, to make methamphetamine. Reed was booked into the Scott County Jail on Thursday but was released Friday after posting bond.
Later in the day Thursday, Scott County Sheriff’s investigators, with the help of agents from the Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, or MEG, searched Kutzman’s home.
There, agents seized a one-pot methamphetamine lab and about 2 grams of finished methamphetamine, along with meth-making materials, MEG Director James Rieck said.
Kutzman, 36, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine between 100 and 400 grams and aggravated manufacturing of methamphetamine less than 15 grams. Both of the charges are Class X felonies under Illinois law that carry a prison sentence of six to 30 years.
Kutzman also is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine precursor and three counts of methamphetamine manufacturing materials. Each of those charges is a Class 2 felony in Illinois that carry a prison sentence of three to seven years. Kutzman was being held Saturday in the Rock Island County Jail on $250,000 bond.
Gun reportedly found under child's bed during Carbon Cliff drug raid By Rachel Warmke, Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 6:25 pm
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been notified after police arrested a Carbon Cliff man Thursday for drugs and having a loaded gun under a child's bed. Sylvester G.T. Staples, 23, was held Thursday evening at the Rock Island County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Police said the three-time convicted felon is charged with Class X felonies for being an armed habitual criminal and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property.
He also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Class 2 felony, and possession with the intent to deliver cannabis, a Class 3 felony.
His arrest came after agents from the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, an area police unit specializing in drug enforcement, served a search warrant at his home in the 1000 block of Rebecca Avenue in Carbon Cliff about 7 a.m. Thursday.
During the search -- part of a weeks long narcotics investigation -- agents found more than 40 grams of cannabis and three grams of crack cocaine, a news release from QCMEG Director James Rieck said. Agents also discovered a loaded .25 caliber handgun under a child's bed in a room occupied by a 4-year-old, Mr. Rieck said. Mr. Rieck said DCFS was notified, and additional arrests are expected.
Police say man had more than a pound of cocaine
By Rachel Warmke Posted: Monday, February 8, 2016 9:31 pm An Elgin man faces conspiracy and drug charges he was arrested Monday with what authorities say was more than a pound of cocaine.
Gerardo Ruiz-Torres, 24, is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy and violation of drug tax stamp, according to a news release from the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, an area police unit that specializes in drug enforcement.
During an investigation related to cocaine being trafficked into the Quad-Cities, narcotics agents received information that Mr. Ruiz-Torres intended to make a cocaine delivery at a Bettendorf location, according to the release. It said agents located Mr. Ruiz-Torres and obtained a search warrant for his vehicle, finding 646 grams -- about 1.4 pounds -- of powder cocaine hidden in a door panel.
Mr. Ruiz-Torres was arrested Monday in a parking lot in the 900 block of 17th Street, Bettendorf, by QCMEG agents and members of the Bettendorf Police Department.
He was in custody at the Scott County Jail on Monday night on a $100,000 bond.
California man convicted of money laundering through RI car dealership
By Rachel Warmke January 29, 2016 6:51 pm
A California man has been convicted of laundering money for a marijuana trafficking scheme that prosecutors say had ties to a Rock Island car dealership.
A federal jury took less than an hour Tuesday to convict Gianco "Geo" Sheridan, 27, of Los Angeles, of 32 counts of money laundering to conceal drug proceeds and one count of conspiracy to launder those proceeds. He faces a fine and up to 20 years in prison for each count.
He currently is out on bond pending a May 26 sentencing before U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow. Prosecutors said that, between August 2013 and June 2014, Trust Auto Sales, at 801 11th St., Rock Island, was the reception site for numerous packages of high-grade marijuana from two Los-Angeles based medical marijuana dispensaries. The packages contained fake California return addresses, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois.
The dealership billed itself as a used car sales and repair business, but was a "sham company" with owner Joel McCalebb, 52, of Rock Island — also known as Omar Mukhtar — involved in the marijuana distribution scheme, prosecutors said. Mr. Sheridan's cousin, Quisontro Rahman "BJ" Hart, 35, of Los Angeles, also was involved in selling marijuana. Proceeds from the sales were deposited by Mr. McCalebb at Los Angeles area banks. Mr. Sheridan, whose name often was listed on the bank accounts, would withdraw the cash and turn it over to Mr. Hart, the release said.
About $230,000 was laundered through the accounts from August 2013 to June 2014, the release said. In August 2015, Mr. Hart pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 10.
Mr. McCalebb was sentenced earlier this month to a two-year prison term after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Linda Mott and Don Allegro. The charges were investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group.
Authorities: Davenport woman arrested with 3 pounds of meth
By: Thomas Geyer November 20, 2015 9:25 am DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport woman faces drug and weapons charges after authorities say they caught her with more than three pounds of methamphetamine.
The Quad-City Times reports (http://bit.ly/218iEW2) that 50-year-old Theresa Gay Morales was charged with a controlled substance violation for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
She also is charged with eluding authorities, being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony.
Authorities say Morales threw bags of methamphetamine from the window of the pickup truck she was driving when law enforcement tried to stop her last week on Interstate 80. Authorities say they later seized a loaded .22-caliber handgun from her safety deposit box.
Morales was being held Thursday night in the Scott County Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.
Cocaine charges faced by two Q-C men
By Rachel Warmke, Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 7:35 pm
MOLINE -- Federal and local authorities seized several kilograms of cocaine and arrested two men they allege trafficked million-dollar amounts of the drug.
Ovidio M. Miranda-Cabezas, 38, of Moline, was arrested shortly before 6:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 4200 block of Avenue of the Cities. On a Rock Island County booking sheet, police wrote Mr. Miranda-Cabezas was found with approximately two kilograms of cocaine.
Alleged co-conspirator Vicente A. Jimenes, 32, was arrested about 1 a.m. Wednesday at his residence in the 700 block of 24th Street in East Moline.
The two men are charged in Rock Island County Circuit Court with two counts of trafficking a controlled substance. The first count -- a Class X offense, punishable by up to 30 years in prison -- accuses the two men of either personally delivering, or allowing the delivery of, just under a kilogram of cocaine to a drug enforcement agent.
The second charge -- a Class 2 offense, punishable by up to seven years in prison -- alleges the men "knowingly used a cellular radio telecommunication device" as part of the trafficking.
On Wednesday, Kevin Winslow, director of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, confirmed a multi-jurisdictional investigation that included Moline's Street Crimes Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency. He declined, however, to comment on specifics of the case.
Mr. Miranda-Cabezas and Mr. Jimenes were in custody Wednesday night on $750,000 bonds. They have been prohibited from posting bond until a hearing to determine whether the money they may intend to use for bail stems from legitimate means.
In a petition requesting the court hearing, Assistant Rock Island County State's Attorney Justin Umlah said the defendants are believed to be "involved in extensive cocaine dealing, packaging and trafficking" including moving approximately $1 million a month "in street value cocaine."
An order signed by Associate Judge Norma Kauzlarich states the defendants were prohibited from using a phone for up to 12 hours after their arrests to prevent them from alerting others not in custody "to destroy evidence" which law enforcement officials were trying to secure based on a "state and federal search warrant."
Milan couple arrested for cannabis Tuesday
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 A Milan couple was arrested on cannabis charges Tuesday.
The Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group arrested Torie L. Carile, 21, and Timmie E. Depauw, 31, both of 473 4th St. East, Milan, on charges of possession with intent to deliver cannabis and possession of a controlled substance. According to a MEG news release, agents searching their residence also located a weapon and other controlled substances.
Milan police assisted with the arrest. The investigation continues, according to the release, with additional arrests anticipated.