In suburban hideaways in Franklin Park and Elgin, federal prosecutors say an international criminal organization built outposts of an illicit empire right in our backyard.
Federal prosecutors have been working to discover an international cocaine ring with a cross border distribution point in San Ysidro in southern California, that involves a large illegal gun cache and illegal gun sales in suburban Chicago — west, northwest and north.
ABC I Team’s Chuck Goudie reports …
Federal prosecutors say an international criminal organization built outposts of an illicit empire in Chicago suburbs with a massive arsenal, cocaine ring, secret cash and suburban residents connected to a deadly drug and gun conspiracy. Federal authorities say they have linked fake collar county gun buys, including straw purchasing, to drug cartel violence across the border.
The I-Team profiled three suburban locations that involved criminal gun activity …
• The Regal Inn in Franklin Park,
• A Public Storage facility in Elgin, and
• The 1st Class Firearms, now named 1st Class Ammo, a former gun store in Zion.
The I-Team also profiled people involved in the gun conspiracy …
• David Cataneda-Solis, a former Chicago resident, was found by a drug surveillance unit at the Regal Inn with $150,000 of cash bundles hidden in a secret compartment that was hidden in a car dashboard. Inside the car, a business card led investigators to the Elgin Public Storage facility were investigators used a search warrant to find dozens of firearms, some fully-automatic machine guns, grenades and a grenade launcher. Prosecutors say David Cataneda and Juan Mexicano built up the Elgin arsenal and moved hundreds of kilos of cocaine across the border. Some of the cocaine was also destined for Chicago. Investigators did not comment, but the arsenal collection was probably related to straw purchases.
• Juan Mexicano (aka Pavo), of Addison, leased the Elgin Public Storage unit and was charged with Cataneda-Solis and six other suspects as part of an international conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
• Ira Burdine and Dana Prouty have allegedly been linked to some of the guns found by investigators. Burdine, who investigators discovered had a Facebook page with long guns and artillery, worked part-time at the Zion gun store.
• Jordan Michael Rodriguez (aka Pelon), one of the suspects charged in the federal cocaine conspiracy, was found shot to death in a pickup truck near Austin, Texas in August 2017. Rodriquez also had a Facebook page, and his page showed firearms, cartel imagery, and an image of himself wearing a Chicago hat.
Authorities involved in the investigation …
Homeland Security Investigations Task Force (HSI),
Elgin Police Department,
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),
Kane County Prosecutors, and
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California
ABC 7 Chicago I-Team Suburban Chicago cache of guns connected to alleged cross-border crime conspiracy
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