29 Arrests Made in Massive Rockford Drug Ring Bust
Have you ever lived in a city where business location after business location have no cars in the parking lot, yet they don’t go out of business? You check to find out that the business is “family owned” with 2 or 3 employees, and that their sales never increase or decrease after being in business for years?
Back in the late 80’s a young man told me how drug dealers operate by having straw businesses and straw customers. He said it was a good setup to launder drug money. Now, I don’t know if the following involves any businesses that launder money,but upon hearing the local news last night, it made me wonder.
After more than a year of investigation, authorities have charged 29 people in a drug bust. Those charged include a former high school head football coach and teacher, two businessmen, and a dentist. The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, Rockford Police Department and DEA conducted the investigation. The Illinois National Guard assisted.
Authorities seized $1.7 million in cocaine, 72 marijuana plants and 7.1 pounds of cannabis worth $16,223 on the street; 360 hydrocone pills worth $2,880; eight guns; $243,600 in cash, six vehicles and $50,000 in jewelry.
The investigation began in June 2014 with a single phone call from a confidential informant. The tip came in about powdered cocaine sales on the “far east side of Rockford,” said Bob Reffett, a Rockford Police Department detective. By identifying the area as “far east side of Rockford,” local media is identifying the more “safer” area of Rockford.
Many of those arrested had few if any prior convictions and were released on bond, and many of those arrested are over the age of 40.
Regulo E. Rodriguez, 46, of Belvidere, and Esaul A. Rivas, 23, of Rockford, are accused of being the “major suppliers.”
Here is a list of names and charges provided by the State’s Attorney’s Office:
Delivery Of Controlled Substance And Possession With Intent To Deliver
Harl Hitch, 50
Thomas Lester, 56
William Parson, Jr., 44
Micheal Powless, 51
Delivery Of A Controlled Substance
Richard Deppe, 57
Timothy Sugrhoue, 48
Torry Swanson, 48
Delivery Of Cannabis And Possession With Intent To Deliver Cannabis
Randy Livingston, 56
Possession With Intent To Deliver
Stephen Martin, 57
Daniel Opsahl, 36
Jerry Pearson, 40
Esaul Rivas, 23
Regulo Rodriguez, 46
Possession Of Cannabis
Keith Livingston, 42
Unlawful Criminal Drug Conspiracy
Andrew Bowen, 50
John Bowler, 49
Samuel Castree, 55
Thomas Etier, 56
Thomas Greeny, 50
Douglas Hauser, 56
Daniel Hauser, 55
Thomas Hindes, Jr., 54
David Johnson, 63
Tamberlyn Keefauver, 48
Randall Keller, 61
Christopher Payne, 55
Randy Stupka, 55
Henry Torchia, Jr., 51
George Torgler, 65
Had the investigation taken longer, authorities would have needed to bust the folks in a retirement home.