Drug-dealer delivery scam nets 100 pounds of pot
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org | @abderholden December 13, 2013 1:56PM
Round Lake Park Police found 80 pounds of marijuana that was being prepared for distribution. There were scales, cash, and a device used to vacuum-seal clothing was being used to package the marijuana. | Submitted photo
Updated: January 15, 2014 6:11AM
Round Lake Park police unraveled a series of drug deliveries like a homeowner battling bunched Christmas lights, resulting in the arrest of four people and confiscation of about 100 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $500,000.
It all started with a FedEx delivery on Saturday, Dec. 7, to a single-family home in the 300 block of North Clifton Drive, Round Lake Park, where the homeowner told police that the package, containing marijuana, was not for him. Police arrived and took possession of the package and about 15 pounds of marijuana, said George Filenko, Round Lake Park police chief.
The Gang and Narcotics Unit went to the correct address, an apartment in the 200 block of North Clifton, and found the apartment vacant.
“The drug dealers do this now, they have it sent in packages and then they keep moving to different rentals,” said Filenko. The unit continued its effort to find the person the package was addressed to, he said.
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, when the department was hosting it’s Shop with a Cop program, police received a tip around 7 p.m. that a narcotics transaction was being conducted in the 300 block of North Clinton Drive.
Officers left the event and found Joseph Schmidt, 34, of 312 N. Clifton Drive outside of his home conducting a drug sale involving a pound of marijuana. Schmidt was the person who called police about the package with marijuana being delivered to the wrong house.
“He helped himself to about five pounds of marijuana before he called police. He must of believed he deserved a finders’ fee and took upon himself to give himself one,” said Filenko.
Schmidt was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. His bond was set at $10,000.
Meanwhile, the Gang and Narcotics Unit identified a location in nearby Round Lake where a person believed to be the one who was supposed to receive the package in the first place resdided and they obtained a search warrant. Within minutes of Schmidt’s arrest, a plan was put together to forgo having an officer dress as a FedEx employee and approach the home at 804 Park Street, Round Lake.
“The officer went to the door in full uniform and explained his boss was really anxious for him to find the person the missing FedEx package belonged to and he asked if it was his. He said ‘yes’,” said Filenko, adding that Round Lake Police assisted on the search warrant.
After accepting the package, police moved in and found 80 pounds of marijuana that was being prepared for distribution. There were scales, cash, and a device used to vacuum-seal clothing was being used to package the marijuana.
Arrested were Anelit Chavez-Morales, 25, Gabriel Orozco-Rivera, 38, and Joel Aguilar-Alberto, 41, all of 804 Park St. They were charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (Class X felony), unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (Class 2 felony) and calculated criminal drug conspiracy, said Filenko.
Each was being held on $250,000 bond and there is an immigration hold on all three suspects, he said.