Guilty Plea in Drug Conspiracy — 11 Kilos of Heroin, 11 of Cocaine Off Streets

Guilty Plea in Drug Conspiracy — 11 Kilos of Heroin, 11 of Cocaine Off Streets

Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon announced Thursday (April 18, 2019) that an Aurora man has pleaded guilty to felony drug conspiracy charges and was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison.

Gabriel Aguilar Velez, 31, of Aurora, pleaded guilty in Kane County to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony, and was sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison.

Gabriel Aguilar Velez

Aguilar Velez was charged in July 2017, along with Juan Carlos Rivera-Arroyo, 35, and Israel Tavizon, 36, after the three men were caught conspiring to distribute large amounts of cocaine and heroin in Kane County. Previously, Rivera-Arroyo was sentenced to 19 years in prison, and Tavizon was sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison.

“The collaboration between my office, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, and federal and local law enforcement prevented a large amount of heroin and cocaine from entering the community and allowed us to hold accountable the individuals responsible,” Raoul said. “Partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are critical to our work to protect communities from drugs and violence.”

“Drug dealers are a threat to every community. Cocaine is the substance involved in most drug arrests in Kane County, and 135 people have died from opioid overdoes in Kane County the last two years,” McMahon said. “I’m pleased to work with the Aurora police, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office to root out the drug dealers from our suburban cities.”

Raoul and McMahon’s offices partnered to prosecute the case following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs’ Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

HSI began surveillance in June 2017, which is when Tavizon was pulled over while driving a truck carrying a tire for a semi-truck. Officers executing a search warrant discovered more than 11 kilos of heroin and more than 11 kilos of cocaine hidden in the tire.

“This investigation reflects the FBI’s continuing dedication to work with our state, local, and federal partners to keep our streets safe,” Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet said. “Through our sustained partnerships, we will always strive to protect and defend our neighborhoods from all those who seek to undermine the public safety of our communities.”

“HSI is committed to stopping those who seek to smuggle illegal drugs across our borders and into our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons. “HSI will continue to prioritize resources and work with its federal and state law enforcement partners to keep these deadly drugs off our streets.”

“We are so pleased to acknowledge the hard work of the men and women involved in this drug trafficking case,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said. “This is another great example of how partnerships across our region can allow us all to live in safer, stronger communities.”

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Gansmann is handling prosecution of the case for Raoul’s Statewide Grand Jury Bureau. Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Orland is handling prosecution for the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office / Illinois Attorney General’s Office news release. To follow news releases directly from the Kane County SAO, visit the State’s Attorney’s Office website and Facebook page.