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.

Source: BREAKING: 29 Arrests Made in Massive Rockford Drug Ring Bust –

Posted on 03/04/2016, in Cases, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Goodness gracious! Yes, I see buildings like this around my town all the time. One does wonder how they must be staying in business when you never see any customers or activity.


    • Good morning Mindyme!!! Yep — makes one wonder.


      • Yes it does!


      • crustyolemothman

        Xena, With the onset of the internet and the “on-line” store, there is a possibility that at least some of the less than busy store fronts you see are engaged in legal activity as eBay, Amazon, and privately owned on-line sales outlets. Not all of them, but probably more than just a few. Perhaps we should consider that possibility before we start to (perhaps unfairly) that non busy stores are likely to be engaged in illegal activity? Past history has shown that many times when illegal activity (money laundering and etc.) is taking place the store (or business) is actually enjoying a pretty healthy customer flow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mothman,
          The businesses that I’m speaking about were around before “on-line” store days. That’s not to say that all of the businesses that never have cars in the parking lot are laundering drug money. Sorry if it sounded like a generalization. Of the two business owners that were arrested in the drug bust, one owns a construction company.


  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Good catch to even get “Those charged include a former high school head football coach and teacher, two businessmen, and a dentist.”

    Horrible that those entrusted with the care of the community’s children betrayed that trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yahtzee,
      It’s got to be the love of money — and the idea that they would never be caught, being that they areupstanding citizens in the good part of town. (HA!)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. All this work for a war on drugs, which is really a war on people.

    Liked by 1 person

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