Feds: Melrose Park man tried to buy cocaine from undercover officer

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An alleged Melrose Park drug dealer and two of his accomplices are facing federal charges after he sold rifles to and tried to buy cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer, according to the feds.

Jose Mendoza, 53, sold four rifles and ten rounds of ammunition to the officer on Nov. 21 in the parking lot of a Melrose Park fitness center, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Nine days later, Mendoza and two other men were arrested after they tried to buy two kilograms of cocaine from the same undercover officer for $57,000 cash in the parking lot of a Northlake home improvement store, prosecutors said. The cash was hidden in a trunk compartment in the trunk of a BMW X6 driven by one of the men.

At the time of the attempted drug deal, Mendoza had a handgun in his jacket pocket, prosecutors said.Mendoza’s home in Melrose Park was also searched, and authorities found another handgun, two rifles, five shotguns and ammunition.

Mendoza was charged with possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, prosecutors said. A detention hearing for Mendoza was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday before Judge Susan E. Cox.

His accomplices, 48-year-old Miguel Pineda of River Grove and 25-year-old Alejandro Sandoval of Waukegan, were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, prosecutors said. They were scheduled to appear for a detention hearing Monday before Judge Cox.

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