ROCKFORD —(ENEWSPF)–August 2, 2016. Two men were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Rockford, Ill., on drug charges in related cases.
GILBERTO VENEGAS-GARZA, 48, of Houston, Texas, was charged with one count of distributing cocaine on June 28, 2016. CONSTANCIO PALOMINO-CHAVEZ, 34, of Rockford, was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, also on June 28, 2016.
According to a criminal complaint, on June 28, 2016, Venegas-Garza drove a van from Bedford Park, Ill. to Rockford where he met with Palomino-Chavez. They went to a residence on Newberg Road. A short time later Venegas-Garza drove away. Venegas-Garza was stopped for a traffic offense by Illinois State Police officers. Inside the van officers discovered approximately $5,000 in U.S. currency and a hidden “trap” compartment, according to the complaint. Officers searched the Newberg Road residence and found five kilograms of cocaine under the floorboards of a shed, according to the complaint. Venegas-Garza and Palomino-Chavez were both arrested and have remained in custody since their arrest on June 28, 2016.
Distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine each carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $1 million. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The indictments were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Dennis Wichern, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Leo P. Schmitz, Director of the Illinois State Police.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.
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