Two men are facing federal charges in connection with looting at Northwest Side pharmacies in late May during civil unrest in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
William Lorenz, 40, and Ivan Bermudez, 42, are each charged with conspiracy to commit burglary involving a controlled substance, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Lorenz was arrested Monday while Bermudez was taken into custody Tuesday following an investigation by Chicago police, the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, prosecutors said.
“Anyone involved in destructive behavior in Chicago – such as looting a pharmacy for controlled substances – should know that federal law enforcement could be coming for you,” U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch said in the statement. “Our office will continue to work with the DEA, Chicago Police Department, and other law enforcement partners to hold looters accountable in federal court, whenever appropriate.”
Prosecutors said the men, both Chicago residents, conspired to break into three Walgreens stores on the night of May 31:
- 1627 N. Pulaski Road in Humboldt Park;
- 3110 W. Armitage Ave. in Logan Square; and
- 4001 W. Irving Park Road in Old Irving Park.
In each case, they allegedly entered the store, went to the pharmacy area and tried to remove drugs from the shelves, the U.S. attorney’s office said. In the Irving Park Road incident, they tried to get into a locker containing Schedule II controlled substances — which include drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl — but were unable to get it open.
That break-in occurred after the 9 p.m. curfew that was in effect at the time, while the others happened earlier that evening, prosecutors said.