pipeline

Investigative and surveillance photos filed in connection with a federal investigation dismantling a Mexico-to-Chicago cocaine pipeline, as obtained by MyTexasDaily.com.

LAREDO, Texas — A Texas man was among 10 defendants charged in a federal investigation that dismantled a cocaine pipeline between Mexico and Chicago, federal prosecutors announced on Friday.

According to indictments and previously filed 99-page federal criminal complaint, obtained by MyTexasDaily.com, 30-year-old Andres Villegas of Berwyn, Illinois worked with suppliers in Mexico to transport cocaine into the United States and then work with a network of traffickers to distribute those drugs in the Chicago area.

45-year-old Eduardo Carrizales of Laredo, Texas, is alleged to have, on at least two occasions, according to a criminal complaint, transported cocaine and cash between Texas and Mexico in a gold-colored freightliner.

Carrizales was initially arrested at a Chicago-area warehouse during a suspected exchange of nearly 10 kilograms of cocaine with another known member of the cocaine pipeline. During his arrest, police discovered $150,020 in a vacuum sealed bag under a radio panel in the freightliner.

Carrizales admitted that he had been paid $4,000 by an unknown individual in Texas to "meet someone in Chicago."

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 18 kilograms of cocaine and more than $300,000 in cash believed to be the proceeds of illicit drug activity.

Four federal indictments in the case were returned Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Charged were 23-year-old Gustavo Avila, 41-year-old Aaron Adams, 42-year-old Adrian Curtis, 50-year-old David Palm, 51-year-old Alvin Brown, 35-year-old Santiago Meraz, 33-year-old Jorge Valdez, and 59-year-old Isidro Moya, all of the Chicago, Illinois, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, areas. Meraz and Moya remain at large.

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