Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

Man Drives to Park Forest, Leaves with Two Felony Drug Charges

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Country Club Hills man left Park Forest in late November with two felony drug charges, a DUI, and an uncommon charge in Park Forest of a DUI combination of drugs/alcohol.

Police arrested Joshua J. Hester, 39, 17641 Baker Ave., Country Club Hills, on November 25 and charged him with two felony drug charges: the manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance (class 2 felony), and possession of a controlled substance (class 4 felony). Police also charged him with obstructing identification, attempted obstructing justice/destroy evidence, and issued him traffic citations charging driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence of a combination of drugs/alcohol, speeding over the limit, tinted windshield, improper lane usage, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Mr. Hester had a preliminary court appearance at the Markham Courthouse on November 27, 2023.

Felony Drug Charges

Joshua J. Hester, felony drug charges, DUI
Joshua J. Hester. (PFPD)

Saturday, November 25, around 3:00 PM in Park Forest, was cold but above freezing. The wind was light, a calm 3-5 mph. An officer driving northbound on Western Avenue from 26th Street at 3:04 PM saw a black 2016 Honda Accord heading southbound on Western from South Street. According to police, the Honda allegedly had a fully tinted front windshield.

Police: A Vehicle Crosses the Line

The officer made a U-turn and saw the vehicle allegedly crossover the centerline from the median lane towards the curb lane in the area of Birch Street, according to police. As the officer was catching up to the Honda, the radar in his squad indicated that the Honda was traveling 45 mph in the posted 35 mph zone, according to police.

The officer initiated a traffic stop on Western Avenue at Indianwood Boulevard.

The officer told Mr. Hester, the driver, the reason for the stop. Mr. Hester allegedly said he knew when he bought the vehicle that the window would be a problem.

Mr. Hester gave the officer insurance paperwork dated October 2023. According to police, he was unable to provide any identification. According to the report, he allegedly gave the officer the name of Joseph G. Hester.

While speaking with him, the officer detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Hester’s breath, according to police. Furthermore, the officer allegedly saw that Mr. Hester had bloodshot, glassy eyes, according to police.

The officer conducted a computer inquiry and learned that Joseph had a valid license. However, according to police, Joseph’s image did not match the driver.

Officer Secures a Rear Tire of the Car

The officer requested that an additional unit respond. According to police, he placed a Terminator tire deflator device in front of the rear passenger’s tire. The officer informed Mr. Hester of the device and told him that he did not match the image of the information he gave the officer, according to police.

The officer told Mr. Hester he was under arrest and handcuffed him. Mr. Hester complied as the officer took him into custody.

While searching Mr. Hester, the arresting officer found a temporary Illinois driver’s license with the driver’s image and the name Joshua J. Hester, according to police. A computer inquiry revealed that Mr. Joshua Hester had a valid driver’s license and was currently on parole, according to police.

Inventory of Vehicle and Driver Leads to Felony Drug Charges

A tow truck came to the scene. Police conducted an inventory of the vehicle and found an open 23.5-ounce can of Mike’s Hard Cranberry in the center console. The can was about two-thirds full and smelled of alcohol, according to police. Police also found two small pieces of curved glass with a white powder residue on the driver’s side floorboard, a suspect class crack pipe, according to police.

At the Park Forest Police Department, police inventoried Mr. Hester’s property in the processing room. As he removed his boots, three tinfoil packets allegedly fell to the ground and police recovered them. According to police, the packets contained an off-white powdery substance, suspected narcotics.

At one point, while removing excess clothing as instructed, Mr. Hester turned away and allegedly put something in his mouth, according to police. The arresting officer directed him to spit the item out. Mr. Hester complied, and the officer recovered a fourth tinfoil packet, according to police.

In Addition to Felony Drug Charges, Police Suspect DUI Alcohol and Drugs

Police then administered standardized field sobriety tests. According to the report, during the Walk-and-Turn section of the (WAT), Mr. Hester did not take the correct number of steps, stepped off the line, and did not count the steps out loud as instructed.” During the One-Leg Stand test, police allege Mr. Hester could not remain standing on one leg for the required time.

After the tests, Mr. Hester refused to provide a breath sample. The officer inspected each tinfoil packet and found each filled with one “dose” of an off-white powdery substance. The substance allegedly field-tested positive for the presumptive presence of methaqualone, according to police.

The felony drug charges were the manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance (class 2 felony) and possession of a controlled substance (class 4 felony).

About Police Reports

Please note that we repeatedly say “according to police” in these reports and often use “allegedly.” We are not asserting in any way that those police arrested and charged committed any offenses. We report on what is in the reports that the police furnish to us. As those accused are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on prosecutors and police to prove all alleged crimes.

eNews Park Forest has continuously published the addresses of those arrested and will continue to do so. 5 ILCS 140/2.15 states that the governmental body (for these reports, the Police Department), shall release information on those charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.

Presumption of Innocence

An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. The law presumes all those whom police arrest are innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest not to remove items from the public record from publication. Suppose you find your name in the police reports. Our policy is that we will only add information relevant to the final disposition of the case at hand, e.g., “Mr. Smith was subsequently acquitted,” “Mr. Smith entered a guilty plea,” or “All charges against Mr. Smith were subsequently dropped.” We will do so upon receiving and verifying proof of such disposition.

We do not strike, “unpublish,” or delete news.

Police captured all the incidents in this report on body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. Officials typically abbreviate these devices as BWC in the reports.

We encourage persons wishing to leave anonymous information on any criminal matters, including narcotics or gang activity, to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.