According to unsealed federal indictments, 24 people have been charged for transporting drugs, including heroin and cocaine, to Chicago via Amtrak trains. The charges were unsealed on Oct. 27 and announced by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The 24 people were allegedly involved in a drug-trafficking ring that brought drugs into the U.S. from Mexico. After the drugs were smuggled across the border, they were then allegedly transported from California to Chicago via Amtrak trains. During the course of the investigation, the authorities reportedly seized in excess of $1.8 million in cash, more than 30 kilograms of heroin and 60 kilograms of cocaine, 1 kilogram of fentanyl, two rifles and five handguns. The investigation reportedly spanned several years.
The government is asking that $9.3 million in illegal profits be forfeited. Some of the people who have been charged have been taken into custody. According to investigators, the drugs arrived and were picked up at Chicago's Union Station. The police allege that the drugs were then sold in Chicago, and some of the money was laundered and sent back to California.
People who are charged with drug trafficking can face very serious consequences. The potential penalties when indictments are brought in federal court may be even more severe than state charges. Those who are charged might want to seek help from a criminal defense attorney who has experience in defending against drug crimes. An attorney may be able to spot problems with how the investigation was conducted.
Source: Enews Park Forest, "Twenty-four defendants facing federal drug charges for transporting heroin and cocaine to Chicago aboard Amtrak trains," Oct. 27, 2016