Resident arrested, bail set at $15 million
MAPLE PARKâ€”A rural Maple Park man faces up to 60 years in prison for possessing and conspiring to sell illegal drugs.
Fernando Pilar-Lopez, 37, of the 2N block of Meredith Road, Maple Park, was arrested after a search of his residence Aug. 26 revealed approximately 2,800 grams of a controlled substance that field tested positive for the presence of cocaine, according to the Kane County Stateâ€™s Attorneyâ€™s office. The street value of the cocaine is approximately $280,000.
Pilar-Lopez was charged with one count of criminal drug conspiracy, a Class X felony, one count of money laundering, a Class 1 felony, and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents working jointly with Kane County Assistant Stateâ€™s Attorney Kelly Orland served the warrant for the search. Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez and several of his deputies, including one who is assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force, assisted in the investigation and in the execution of the search warrant. They took Pilar-Lopez into custody at that time.
The search of Pilar-Lopezâ€™ residence also revealed more than $1 million in cash, transaction ledgers, a money counter, documents that prove the Pilar-Lopezâ€™s residency, banking information and money transfer slips.
Court documents stated that authorities became aware of Pilar-Lopezâ€™s operation in mid-July, when DEA agents in Phoenix, Ariz., intercepted a package containing more than 900 grams of a substance that tested positive for heroin at a U.S. Postal Service facility. The package was addressed to a post office box in DeKalb, Ill. During that investigation, authorities learned that Pilar-Lopez had made arrangements for that package to be shipped to him. During the search early Thursday, authorities found evidence that connected Pilar-Lopez to the DeKalb post office box. The street value of the heroin is estimated at about $600,000.
Pilar-Lopez appeared for bond Aug. 27 at the Kane County Judicial Center in front of Associate Judge James C. Hallock. After reading information about the search and evidence recovered, Judge Hallock set Pilar-Lopezâ€™s bail at $15 million and set Pilar-Lopezâ€™s next court appearance for 9 a.m. Sept. 9 in Courtroom 319 in front of Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon.
In addition, Judge Hallock granted a motion filed by the Kane County Stateâ€™s Attorneyâ€™s Office that requires Pilar-Lopez to reveal the source of any cash he posts to be released from custody.
â€œThis case goes well beyond a single drug dealer,â€ Kane County Stateâ€™s Attorney John Barsanti stated in an Aug. 27 press release. â€œNot only does this impact him where it hurts the most, which is in the wallet, it also puts a dent in this defendantâ€™s ability to continue on his criminal enterprise. And it reaches directly to the streets, having removed illicit narcotics from the marketplace.â€
The case remains under investigation.
The charges against Pilar-Lopez are not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the stateâ€™s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.