CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—May 24, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Rolando Estrada, 42 of Elmwood Park has been charged with federal drug offenses for allegedly importing a fentanyl analogue from China to the Chicago area.
According to the indictment, Estrada allegedly imported furanyl fentanyl from China in the summer of 2016. Estrada arranged to have the substances shipped to the Chicago area from a Chinese chemical company, according to a criminal complaint filed against him in 2016. In June 2016, law enforcement agents intercepted and seized two packages from China that contained approximately four kilograms of furanyl fentanyl, the complaint states. The following month, authorities seized more than five kilograms of cocaine and $90,000 in cash from Estrada’s residence in Elmwood Park.
Estrada fled to Mexico in July 2016, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was taken into custody last month in Querètaro, Mexico.
The five-count indictment charges Estrada with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of importing a controlled substance from outside the U.S., and one count of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Arraignment is set for May 24, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.
The charges against Estrada carry a maximum potential sentence of life in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
According to a search warrant and affidavit previously filed in the case, Estrada continued to coordinate shipments of fentanyl to Chicago after fleeing to Mexico. The fentanyl was allegedly mixed with other substances before being sold to customers in the Chicago area. After the sales, Estrada allegedly directed an associate to convert some of the proceeds into Bitcoin, a virtual currency typically circulated via the internet. Estrada also allegedly instructed the associate on how to use a cellphone application to transfer Bitcoin to Estrada’s virtual wallet.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.