Montgomery man gets 15 years for part in distributing cocaine
By Matt Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org May 7, 2012 4:38PM
Manuel V. Carranza, 24, of Montgomery
Updated: June 9, 2012 8:09AM
A 26-year-old Montgomery man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for his role in a cocaine distribution ring.
On Monday, Kendall County state’s attorney Eric Weis said Manuel Carranza, of the 100 block of Heathgate Road, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. Carranza was one of nine people charged after North Central Narcotics Task Force officers raided his home in December 2010.
At Carranza’s home, task force members found more than a pound of cocaine, a money counter, 13 cell phones and about $18,000 cash, Weis said.
Carranza will have to serve three years probation when he is released from prison.
Many of the other people charged in the bust have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, according to court records.
Eddie Hernandez, 21, 1000 block of Indian Avenue, Aurora, was sentenced to three years probation for possession of a firearm in May 2011. Rodolfo Gallardo Jr., 21, of the 700 block of Morningside Avenue, Aurora, pleaded guilty to delivering 1 to 15 grams of cocaine and was sentenced to 54 days in jail and 30 months probation.
Jose Baez, 28, was sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance. Gabriela Hernandez, 19, of the 1000 block of Russell Avenue, Aurora; pleaded guilty to felony attempted disorderly conduct and was sentenced to two years probation. Other cases are pending or no information was available.
The original investigation involved Aurora police, Kane County prosecutors, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and the U.S. attorney’s office. Undercover agents purchased cocaine from Carranza several times in Aurora. During negotiations, agents learned Carranza’s suppliers smuggled cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico, said Sgt. Bill Backus, director of the North Central Narcotics Task Force. Many of the other defendants were involved in smaller drug sales.
Over the next few months, police conducted surveillance on suspects and obtained telephone wiretaps.
In 2010, Backus said the arrests were related to the drug investigation that led Aurora officers to seize $190,000 from a car they stopped in October 2010. That seizure has been contested because the occupants of the car — two Aurora brothers — were not charged with any crimes, although the money has been sent to the federal government. The brothers were not among the nine people charged and have not been charged.