State Crime Reports

Two Men Indicted on Federal Drug Charges in Related Cases

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.

Related Material:

Palomino-Chavez Indictment

Venegas-Garza Indictment