Joliet police make large heroin seizure
By BRIAN STANLEY Bstanley@stmedianetwork.com August 23, 2012 3:12PM
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:10AM
JOLIET — Police say a “phantom grandfather” led them to the largest heroin seizure in department history Tuesday night.
At 8:54 p.m. tactical officers Aaron Bandy and Terrence Gruber were on patrol near Maple and Gougar roads when a Hyundai Genesis with Ohio license plates failed to signal when turning, Chief Mike Trafton said.
“The driver, Lamar D. Egler, was extremely nervous when the officers approached. His hands were shaking,” Trafton said. Egler also allegedly told Bandy he was visiting the area on vacation.
But passenger Lewis D. Hall, 38, reportedly told Gruber they were here to visit his sick grandfather.
“But he was unable to provide the name of a local hospital or his grandfather,” Trafton said.
The officers also learned Egler is on federal parole for narcotics convictions and has previously been arrested on weapons charges, according to reports.
Bandy and Gruber called for the narcotics canine, Ness, who alerted police to the trunk. Inside they reportedly found a dufflebag containing six shrink-wrapped packages of heroin. The 5.5 kilos could be worth more than $500,000 on the street.
Egler also reportedly had five grams of heroin in his pockets when he was taken into custody. Both men, who live in Cleveland, were booked into the county jail on charges of possession of narcotics with intent to deliver.