Cocaine Drug Bust: Police Worked for Months on Investigation, Two Long Days for Finale

$150,000 Worth of Cocaine Seized
Arlington Heights police and police departments from Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg; and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) finalized their drug investigation with a two-day sweep of dealers and their drug customers. Over 30 people were arrested earlier this week in a two day-long series of drug busts that began early in the morning and ended late at night. The DEA, police officers and detectives worked like a machine arresting at least six area residents, who were neighborhood street dealers, and at least 26 area residents, who were their customers. The numbers are in flux because more arrests are possible.

Daily Herald video of Press Conference announcing the arrest of a Northwest Suburban Drug Trafficking Organization with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Arlington Heights Police Chief Gerald Mourning, Capt. Richard Niebrick, Commander Kenneth Galinski , and others.

Prosecutors were permitted to wiretap the drug dealer’s phone used for about 6,000 drug calls over a 60-day period. Runners delivered the drugs, and some of the expenses of the gross sales were used to provide housing, vehicles, legal expenses and bond for those arrested. Police seized 1,500 grams of crack and powder cocaine worth $150,000, twenty-one vehicles (some used for drug deliveries), and $50,000 cash.

Left-to-right: Hector Cortez, Julio Zenteno, Adrian Peregrino-garcia, and Carlos Ruiz.

The Leader, Hector Cortez
Arlington Heights police report that as a result of the 8-month investigation, six co-conspirators of the “Dial-a-Rock” organization have been arrested, along with 26 customers. The “kingpin” of the organization, Hector Cortez, 40, was arrested in the 2800 block of Algonquin Road, Rolling Meadows. Cortez is charged with super class X felonies that carry a sentence of 15-60 years in prison: unlawful criminal drug conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kay Hanlon set bail at $1 million cash — meaning no 10% down.

The Right-Hand Man, Adrian Peregrino-Garcia
The right-hand man for the organization, according to police, was Adrian Peregrino-Garcia, who kept the books. Adrian Peregrino-Garcia was arrested in the 1700 block of Poplar in Schaumburg, where police also seized 200 grams of cannabis.

Lead players
Julio Zenteno, 30, who was arrested in the 1700 block of Palm in Mount Prospect, was a busy runner who police — on surveillance starting early in the morning — observed 15 meetings with customers on Tuesday. Zenteno’s bail is set at $1 million (10%), so $100,000 is required for release from custody.

Carlos Ruiz, 20, was arrested in the 2100 block of Tonne Road in Arlington Heights, where 87 grams of cocaine were seized. His bail is set at $750,000.

Arlington Heights managed the enforcement operation, and called the orders for arrests. Many of the transactions were observed out in the open in front of everyday stores and parking lots. Then teams of police officers from Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg made the arrests — pretty much one at a time, all day.

WGN REPORT: Crack drug bust in Northwest Suburbs.