Man sentenced to 20 years for suburban heroin trafficking

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Jose Hernandez | DuPage County state’s attorney’s office

One of four men charged with trafficking heroin after police found $1.4 million worth of narcotics last year has been sentenced to prison.

Jose Hernandez, 28, of Elgin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at a hearing Friday before Judge John Kinsella, according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Authorities began investigating in July 2014, after Homeland Security Investigations officers in Chicago were tipped off to an out-of-state currency seizure, prosecutors said.

On July 24, they began surveillance on an Elgin home connected to the seizure, authorities said. The same day, Hernandez along with his brother Andres Hernandez, his father Luis Hernandez and co-defendant Orlando Pacheco-Ramos conducted a narcotics transaction in Addison, prosecutors claim.

Police pulled over Pacheco-Ramos’ vehicle and found seven kilograms of heroin with a street value of about $1.4 million, according to the State’s Attorney’s office. A large amount of cash was also recovered from his Addison home.

All four men were arrested and charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, a Class X felony, prosecutors said.

Elgin residents Luis Hernandez, 48, and Andres Hernandez, 25, both pleaded guilty to drug charges earlier this year, the state’s attorney’s office said. Both were sentenced to six years in prison.

The case against Pacheco-Ramos, 29, is pending, the state’s attorney’s office said. He will next appear in court in Wheaton on Tuesday.

“The amount of heroin taken off the streets in this case is enormous,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “I applaud all those involved for their efforts, which potentially saved the lives of DuPage County residents.”

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